Asian shares mostly slip after Wall Street losses
Asian markets mostly slipped Thursday following a sell-off on Wall Street fuelled by US housing data that raised concerns about the Federal Reserve's stimulus programme.
The dollar lost some of the gains it made against the yen in New York, while the euro was also slightly lower after enjoying some support on Wednesday thanks to some rare good news for the eurozone economy.
Tokyo was down 0.56% by the break, Hong Kong shed 0.14%, Sydney lost 0.42% and Seoul eased 0.15% but Shanghai was up 0.20%.
On Wall Street, the Dow fell after hitting a record high Tuesday, with US dealers also moving out on a government report showing an unexpected 8.3% surge in sales of new homes in June, their fastest pace in five years.
The Dow fell 0.16% after hitting another record on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.38% and the Nasdaq was flat.
While pointing to a pick-up in the US economy, the figures struck investors with fear that the Fed will start to wind down its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying scheme soon.
Such a move by the Fed would leave fewer dollars in the financial system, lifting demand and in turn sending the currency higher.
By the end of US trade on Wednesday, the greenback rose to 100.26 yen, from 99.48 yen the previous day. And in Tokyo on Thursday the unit fetched 100.37 yen.
In other forex trade, the euro bought $1.3197 and 132.14 yen, from $1.3199 and 132.34 yen.
The single currency was helped by news that private business across the eurozone returned to growth in July for the first time in 18 months, possibly signalling an end to recession, analysts said.
The Markit Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers Index logged 50.4 points, above the 50-mark signalling growth, and a bigger-than-expected rise, after posting 48.7 points in June.
On oil markers New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in September, was down 31 cents at $105.08, while Brent North Sea crude for September fell 37 cents to $106.82.
Gold cost $1,317.78 per ounce at 0220 GMT, compared with $1,343.70 late Wednesday.