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Asian stock markets mixed as tech leads Wall Street lower

Asian stock markets

Tokyo and Hong Kong retreated while Shanghai and Seoul dropped

Asian stock markets were mixed Tuesday after Wall Street was pulled lower by tech stock declines.

Tokyo and Hong Kong retreated while Shanghai and Seoul gained.

Overnight, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index declined 0.5%. Banks, energy companies and others that depend on consumer spending also retreated.

Investor optimism has been bolstered by higher corporate profits, U.S. hiring and consumer confidence. Still, traders are uneasy about a rise in inflation and interest rates and renewed coronavirus infections that prompted some governments to implement anti-disease control measures.

Asian markets have experienced short-term volatility as investors balance the impact of higher interest rates with increasing optimism that pent-up demand will boost earnings, said Janet Tsang of JP Morgan Asset Management in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.1% to 3,481.52 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo slumped 1.9% to 29,114.27. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong declined less than 0.1%, to 29,099.73.

The Kospi in Seoul gained 0.3% to 3,209.13 and the S&P-ASX 200 in Sydney dipped 0.4% to 7,038.20. New Zealand, Singapore and Jakarta dropped while Bangkok gained.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 dropped Monday to 4,163.26. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.4% to 34,077.63. Both hit highs on Friday.

Chipmaker Intel lost 1.7%, Capital One shed 0.9% and Valero Energy tumbled 2.3%.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite lost 1% to 13,914.77.

Tesla shed 3.4% after two people were killed in Texas in a crash of one of its models. Authorities say there was no one in the driver’s seat at the time of the crash. It’s unclear whether the car’s driver-assist system was being used.

This week, 81 of the 500 members of the index are due to report earnings, as are 10 of the 30 members of the Dow, including Johnson & Johnson, Verizon Communications and Intel.

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