Asian stocks quiet after US indexes hit record

Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Stocks trended lower in quiet trading Tuesday in Asia after U.S. indices pulled back from record highs.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index tracked Wall Street's declines, slipping 0.8 percent to 15,254.28 despite fresh data showing the current account surplus was stronger than expected in May, though down nearly 8 percent from a year earlier.

South Korea's Kospi index edged 0.1 percent lower to 2,002.89 after Samsung announced in a regulatory filing that its preliminary operating profit fell 24 percent from a year earlier in the April-June quarter.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index also was marginally lower at 23,540.92. Elsewhere in Asia, shares were lower in Shanghai, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan but rose in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Global stock markets fell Monday after U.S. indexes rallied to record highs after the official U.S. jobs report showed the world's largest economy generated a stronger-than-expected 288,000 jobs in June, as unemployment fell to 6.1 percent.

As investors began bracing for earnings reports due in the coming weeks, the Dow fell 0.3 percent to 17,024.21, having closed above 17,000 for the first time on Thursday. The S&P 500 fell 0.4 percent to 1,977.65.

In Europe, France's CAC-40 fell 1.4 percent to close at 4,405.76 while Germany's DAX dropped 1 percent to 9,906.07. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.6 percent to 6,823.51.

In energy markets, U.S. crude for August delivery was down 14 cents to $103.39 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 53 cents to close at $103.53 on Monday.

In currency trading, the euro was steady at $1.3608. The dollar fell to 101.76 yen from 101.82 yen.