TOKYO, Japan (AP) - Asian stocks fell on Thursday as heavy selling in big-name tech shares pushed Wall Street benchmarks lower.
Shanghai saw a rise in stocks, but Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney fell. Futures for the U.S. were lower. Prices of oil have fallen.
These declines occurred despite an upward revision of the estimated growth rate in Japan for the quarter January-March, which was revised to 2,7%. Analysts had predicted a lower figure.
S&P/ASX200 in Australia fell 0.3% to 7,099.70. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.2% to 2,610.85.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell by less than 0.1% to 19,242.26. Shanghai Composite rose 0.4% to 3,211.44.
Taiwan's Taiex fell 1.1% while India's Sensex dropped 0.2%.
The U.S. stock market ended Wednesday with a mixed result as Microsoft and other tech companies' declines overshadowed gains in the majority of stocks. This is a complete reversal of the trend that has been in place for much of this past year. The tech sector was buoyed by excitement over artificial intelligence and expectations about an end to rate hikes.
Since the restrictions imposed by the pandemic of coronavirus were lifted, Japan's economy has recovered. Tourists and other economic activity have returned to the nation.
Now, the focus is on whether Japan's central banks will abandon its easy monetary policies that it has been following for years. The U.S. Federal Reserve, as well as other central banks around the world, have raised interest rates in the last year. Japan's benchmark interest rate is minus 0.1 percent.
IG's market analyst, Yeap Jun-Rong, said that the Bank of Japan's stance may not change for the time being, despite recent remarks from Governor Kazuo-Ueda.
Wall Street saw the S&P 500 fall 0.4% to 4,267.52 despite the fact that the majority of the stocks in the index were up. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3% to 33665.02, and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.3% at 13,104.89.
Microsoft, Amazon Nvidia, and Alphabet were all the S&P 500's heaviest hitters. They each fell by at least 3%. The index is more sensitive to their movements because they are some of Wall Street’s most valuable companies.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks jumped 1.8% to continue its hot streak since a stronger-than-expected report on hiring last week suggested a recession may be further off than feared.
The market has been rising for several months now, thanks to an economy that defied predictions of a recession. Wall Street still fears a possible recession, but is unsure which comes first: the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates or the inflation dropping enough to trigger a decline in the market.
The Fed is expected to keep rates unchanged next week. This would be the first time in over a year that it hadn't raised its benchmark rate. It is currently at its highest since 2007. The Fed could resume raising rates by July.
Higher interest rates are intended to slow down inflation and damage the prices of stocks, bonds, and other investments. High interest rates are pressuring the U.S. manufacturing and banking industries. However, the job market is still strong.
On the bond market, yields on 10-year Treasury bonds rose from 3.68% to 3.78% by late Tuesday. This helps to set mortgage rates and other important loan rates. The yield on the two-year bond, which is more sensitive to expectations of the Fed, increased from 4.50% to 4.55%.
Energy trading took place on Thursday. The benchmark U.S. oil fell 6 cents, to $72.47 a barrel in electronic trading at the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday, it gained 79 cents and reached $72.53. Brent crude, which is the international standard, fell 9 cents a barrel to $76.86.
The U.S. Dollar fell from 140.10 Japanese yen to 139.84 yen in currency trading. The euro now costs $1.0716 compared to $1.0698.
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