Apr 28, 2016 11:18 PM

Asian stocks mixed after Wall Street slide

The Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) Asian stocks were mixed Friday after Wall Street slid and Japan's central bank surprised markets by putting off possible additional stimulus.

KEEPING SCORE: Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 1.2 percent to 21,125.92 and Seoul's Kospi lost 0.8 percent to 1,985.45. The Shanghai Composite Index was flat at 2,945.43 and benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines also retreated. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 advanced 0.2 percent to 5,234.40 and New Zealand also rose. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

WALL STREET SLIDE: Tech stocks slumped after billionaire investor Carl Icahn revealed he sold his stake in Apple Inc. Icahn wasn't a major shareholder but investors watch his moves closely. Apple has fallen 15 percent in two weeks. Other shares moved on takeover news. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 210.79 points, or 1.2 percent, to 17,830.76. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 19.34 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,075.81. The Nasdaq composite closed lower for the sixth day in a row, losing 57.85 points, or 1.2 percent, to 4,805.29.

JAPANESE STIMULUS: The Bank of Japan surprised investors by deciding against adding to its huge stimulus for the world's third-largest economy. Investors wanted to see that because inflation and consumer spending are weak, largely because the yen has gotten stronger. The bank's decision to postpone possible action "will erode further investor confidence" in its ability to achieve its inflation target, said Chris Weston of IG in a report. The Nikkei 225 tumbled by an unusually wide margin of 3.6 percent on Thursday.

LOWER US GROWTH: The U.S. economy grew a bit less than expected in the first quarter. The government said gross domestic product increased 0.5 percent as consumer spending slowed down, exports fell and business investment plunged. That was the weakest result in two years, but experts think the economy will bounce back in the current quarter.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 19 cents to $45.84 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 80 cents on Thursday to close at $46.03. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 19 cents to $47.58 in London. It added 84 cents the previous session to $47.77.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 107.37 from Thursday's 108.12. The euro rose to $1.1383 from $1.1352.


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