By Laura He, MarketWatch
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Japanese stocks recorded their biggest drop in two months on Thursday, taking cues from a steep decline in the U.S. markets overnight.
Meanwhile, mainland Chinese stock markets resumed their winning ways after snapping a 10-session run in the previous session.
The Nikkei Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.87% declined 1.4%, marking its biggest daily percentage drop since mid-January. The broader Topix /zigman2/quotes/210598092/delayed JP:180460 +0.85% fell 1.5%.
Among market movers, semiconductor supplier Tokyo Electron Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/202883609/delayed JP:8035 +2.78% sank 5.8%, electronic components manufacturer TDK Corporation /zigman2/quotes/208948266/delayed JP:6762 +0.10% slid 4.5%, media conglomerate Sony Corporation /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 +1.79% pulled back 3.3%, and console maker Nintendo Co., Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/208063194/delayed JP:7974 +3.14% gave up 3%.
However, Shanghai stocks bounced back after breaking an impressive winning streak on Wednesday. The Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +1.19% rebounded 0.6% to 3,682.10, wavering near a seven-year high of 3,691.41.
Other major Asian markets were broadly weaker. Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.58% lost 1.6%, Seoul’s Kospi Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.72% shed 1%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.14% posted a mild retreat and dipped 0.1%, with the mainland-China-tracking Hang Seng China Enterprises /zigman2/quotes/210598031/delayed CN:160462 +0.33% off 0.4%.
The declines came on the heels of a nearly 300-point drop for the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.23% , as investors got jittery about earnings and weak durable-goods orders. Energy prices /zigman2/quotes/209724755/delayed CLK25 -0.17% were the exception, surging on news of the conflict in Yemen. Reports of Saudi Arabian airstrikes in Yemen, which is one of the world’s main transit points for seaborne oil, sent prices of crude higher Wednesday and Thursday.
The yen advanced versus the greenback, with the dollar buying ¥118.57, compared with ¥119.65 at the previous Tokyo stock close.