By V. Phani Kumar, MarketWatch
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Most Asian markets fell Thursday after a pullback on Wall Street, with Japanese stocks tumbling to give back some gains recorded in the last two days, while an increase in gold prices limited losses for Australian shares.
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.69% skidded 2.1%, Taiwan’s Taiex gave up 0.8% and the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +2.28% lost 0.9%.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.07% slipped 0.1%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.52% ended flat. The South Korean market was closed for a holiday.
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The performance came after the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.09% Wednesday dropped more than 100 points for the first time since June, amid concerns about rising Treasury yields, and some weak results. A sharp drop in shares of technology major and Dow component Cisco Corp. /zigman2/quotes/209509471/composite CSCO -0.74% in after-hours trade also weighed on Asia.
“The old adage that fear sells couldn’t be truer at the moment. Chatter around a potential 1987-type crash or a looming market top in U.S. equities is growing louder by the day,” said Rivkin analyst Tim Radford.
However, “as long as the big investors are confident in the U.S. economy and the U.S. equity market, we shouldn’t see an overly big selloff from current levels in the near term,” he said.
Losses in Tokyo surfaced across several sectors, coming as the U.S. dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.1512% straddled the ¥98-level.
Mitsubishi Motors Corp. /zigman2/quotes/202404490/delayed JP:7211 -1.21% /zigman2/quotes/200876874/delayed MMTOF -1.60% slid 2.9%, Panasonic Corp. /zigman2/quotes/201785256/delayed JP:6752 -0.99% /zigman2/quotes/202333059/delayed PCRFY -1.52% shed 3.2%, Fast Retailing Co. /zigman2/quotes/200663563/delayed JP:9983 -1.51% /zigman2/quotes/203924235/delayed FRCOY -1.73% gave up 3.3%, Daiwa Securities Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201391978/delayed JP:8601 -0.88% /zigman2/quotes/201035229/delayed DSEEY -1.96% lost 3.7%, and telecommunications major Softbank Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 +0.42% /zigman2/quotes/202815238/delayed SFTBF -1.63% declined 3.3%.
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In Sydney, gold miners climbed after the metal’s prices rose 1% overnight. Shares of Newcrest Mining Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203840223/delayed AU:NCM -0.75% /zigman2/quotes/206026738/delayed NCMGF +4.67% gained 1.3%, and Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/209270359/delayed AU:KCN +0.93% /zigman2/quotes/205153395/delayed KSKGF +16.80% advanced 3.1%.
Shares of AMP Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/206014407/delayed AU:AMP +3.56% /zigman2/quotes/206400018/delayed AMLTF -0.84% picked up 3.5% after the firm said first-half underlying profit fell 9% but still came in above its projections made earlier.
In Hong Kong, a slew of blue-chips were in focus after reporting results.
Shares of personal-computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/205368244/delayed HK:992 +0.94% /zigman2/quotes/204000062/delayed LNVGY -1.15% rose 2.1% following a 23% increase in its fiscal-first-quarter profit, and logistics firm Li & Fung /zigman2/quotes/201795755/delayed HK:494 +1.39% /zigman2/quotes/201638706/delayed LFUGY -6.49% soared 11.6% as investors cheered its outlook despite a sharp drop in half-yearly profits.