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Asian shares mixed after U.S. stocks hold steady

Wall Street

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 0.4% to 18,410.20, the Shanghai Composite index shed 0.4% to 3,134.75, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was little changed at 7,795.70, the Kospi in South Korea edged 0.1% higher, to 2,736.20, and Taiwan’s Taiex was 0.1% higher

Asian shares were mixed on Wednesday after U.S. stocks held relatively steady on Wall Street.

U.S. futures and oil prices dropped, while the yen weakened further against the U.S. dollar.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 shed 1.5% to 38,244.76. Nintendo Co.’s share price dipped 5.2% after the company’s forecasts disappointed investors and it announced that news of a successor product to its popular Switch device will be made by March 2025.

Market players are watching to see how authorities respond to the yen’s persisting weakness against the U.S. dollar.

The dollar added to 155.14 Japanese yen from 154.50 yen. Japanese officials have expressed concern after the yen’s value slid to 160.25 per dollar in recent days, prompting the Ministry of Finance to intervene.

Exchange-rate moves could have a big impact on the economy and prices, so there is a chance we may need to respond with monetary policy, Kazuo Ueda, governor of the Bank of Japan, told lawmakers on Wednesday.

A weak yen helps the profits of Japanese companies that earn much of their revenue overseas, but fluctuations in rates can upend planning and the yen’s weakness has severely eroded the purchasing power of both households and businesses, pushing up costs of imports of food and energy, among other things.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 0.4% to 18,410.20 and the Shanghai Composite index also shed 0.4%, dropping to 3,134.75.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was little changed at 7,795.70, while the Kospi in South Korea edged 0.1% higher, to 2,736.20.

Taiwan’s Taiex was 0.1% higher.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 edged 0.1% higher, to 5,187.70. It was a quiet day following three consecutive jumps for the index of at least 0.9%.

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