Asian indexes little changed as Belgian attacks worries ease
TOKYO — Asian stock indexes fell Wednesday in cautious trading, following the deadly bombings in Belgium.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.3 percent to 17,000.98. South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.1 percent lower to 1,995.12. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.7 percent to 20,524.41, while the Shanghai Composite dropped 0.5 percent to 2,983.86. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.5 percent at 5,204.30. Southeast Asian markets were mostly lower.
ATTACK WOES: News of the attacks in Belgium, which killed at least 34 people, had pulled global markets lower, and airlines and travel companies continued to slip in Asia. Major Japanese carrier ANA fell 0.6 percent, while Australia’s flagship carrier Qantas Airways was down nearly 0.3 percent. HIS Co., a major Japanese travel company, slipped 2.3 percent.
WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 41.30 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,582.57. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dipped 1.80 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,049.80. The Nasdaq composite added 12.79 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,821.66.
THE QUOTE: “The Brussels explosions gave the market a shock yesterday,” said Margaret Yang Yan, market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore. “This attack, together with a series of terrorist attacks believed to have been perpetrated by ISIS since last year, will have an impact on investors’ confidence.”
ENERGY: U.S. crude slipped 52 cents to $40.93 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 7 cents to $41.45 a barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oils, fell 38 cents to $41.41 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The euro rose slightly to $1.1206 from $ $1.1200, while the dollar rose to 112.34 yen from 111.65 yen. TVJ