By Associated Press and Marketwatch
Asian shares were broadly lower on Friday, tracking a weak Wall Street session as traders awaited the conclusion of U.S.-China talks in Beijing.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.39% retreated 1.1% and the Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.68% in South Korea tumbled 1.3%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -2.19% gave up 1.9% while the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.57% closed down 1.4%.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -2.13% bucked the regional trend, picking up 0.1% to 6,062.30. Shares fell Taiwan and throughout Southeast Asia.
Among individual stocks, Dai-ichi Life Holdings /zigman2/quotes/208507587/delayed JP:8750 -2.47% slumped in Tokyo trading, as did SoftBank Group /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 -0.82% and Honda /zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed JP:7267 -2.26% . Casino operators Galaxy Entertainment /zigman2/quotes/202884203/delayed HK:27 -2.06% and Sands China /zigman2/quotes/207609245/delayed HK:1928 -2.82% fell in Hong Kong, along with tech companies such as AAC /zigman2/quotes/201441510/delayed HK:2018 -1.49% and Sunny Optical /zigman2/quotes/206687505/delayed HK:2382 -0.10% . Samsung /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 -0.11% and chip maker SK Hynix /zigman2/quotes/206420319/delayed KR:000660 +0.51% dropped in Korea, and Foxconn /zigman2/quotes/204111604/delayed TW:2354 -1.01% slipped in Taiwan. Energy stocks rose in Australia, led by Beach Energy /zigman2/quotes/200513631/delayed AU:BPT +1.15% and Woodside Petroleum /zigman2/quotes/203437212/delayed AU:WPL +1.43% .
Disappointing data led U.S indexes to a mixed finish on Thursday. According to the Commerce Department, December retail sales fell 1.2% from the previous month, its biggest drop since September 2009.
The National Retail Federation also announced poor holiday sales growth in November-December that it attributed to trade tensions with China and the U.S. government shutdown.
“The market is in a defensive stance. Traders are wondering if the latest retail sales figures are a harbinger of more bad news to come,” said Song Seng Wun, an economist at CIMB Private Banking.
American and Chinese officials will wrap up two days of negotiations in Beijing later Friday. It is unclear if they will make headway on prickly issues such as Washington’s unhappiness over Chinese technology and trade policies.
The U.S. is set to more than double import taxes on $200 billion in Chinese goods by March 2. But President Donald Trump has hinted that he may hold off on these if both sides made enough progress at the trade talks.
The broad S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -4.41% dropped 0.3% to 2,745.73. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -4.41% added 0.1% to 7,426.95 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -4.44% lost 0.4% to 25,439.39.
U.S. crude added 6 cents to $54.47 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 51 cents to settle at $54.41 per barrel in New York on Thursday. Brent crude , used to price international oils, rose 32 cents to $64.90 per barrel. It rose 96 cents to close at $64.57 per barrel in London.
The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.0998% eased to 110.30 yen from 110.45 yen late Thursday.