Asian shares mostly lower, tracking tech sell-off on Wall St

Shares were mostly lower in Asia on Monday following Friday’s steep slide in technology shares on Wall Street. Markets had only a muted reaction, if any, to North Korea’s announcement that it would stop nuclear and missile testing.

KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.3 percent to 22,088.04 and South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.1 percent to 2,474.11. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 0.5 percent to 30,254.40 and the Shanghai Composite index dropped 0.1 percent to 3,068.01. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 advanced 0.3 percent to 5,886.00. Shares rose in India but fell in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

WALL STREET: Losses in technology, retailers, packaged foods and beverage makers weighed on U.S. stocks Friday, pulling the market lower for a second day in a row. The S&P 500 index fell 0.9 percent to 2,670.14. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 0.8 percent to 24,462.94. The Nasdaq composite lost 1.3 percent to 7,146.13 and the Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 0.6 percent, to 1,564.12. For every stock that rose on the New York Stock Exchange, two declined, though the indexes finished the week with gains.

NORTH KOREA: North Korea’s announcement on Saturday to suspend further nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests and close its nuclear test site raised hopes in Washington and Seoul for a breakthrough in the upcoming nuclear negotiations. However, the North’s statement stopped short of suggesting it would give up its nukes or halt production of missiles. That raises the question of what might come of a meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday.

ANALYST VIEWPOINT: “While geopolitical tensions remain bubbling under the surface, rising oil prices and higher U.S. yields suggest investors are likely to deal with increased volatility as a broad range of political, economic and financial events unfolds,” Stephen Innes of OANDA said in a commentary.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 43 cents to $67.97 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday it gained 7 cents to settle at $68.40 per barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, sagged 41 cents to $73.64 per barrel. It added 28 cents per barrel in London on Friday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 107.94 yen from 107.64 yen on Friday. The euro fell to $1.2255 from $1.2290. The pound rose to $1.4006 from $1.4001.