Asian stocks mixed as Wall St falls further

BEIJING (AP) – Asian stock markets were mixed on Wednesday after Wall Street fell on weak US home sales and a profit warning from a prominent social media brand.

Shanghai and Seoul rose, while Tokyo and Hong Kong fell. The price of oil rose more than $1 a barrel to stay above $110.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index lost 0.8% after Tuesday’s profit warning by Snapchat’s parent company scared investors into dumping social media stocks. Construction stocks fell after US home sales plummeted in April.

“The general mood in stock markets remains largely gloomy,” IG’s Jun Rong Yeap said in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.1% to 3,074.51, while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo lost 0.1% to 26,713.08. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost less than 0.1% to 20,093.33.

The Kospi in Seoul rose 0.7% to 2,623.41 and the S&P-ASX 200 in Sydney gained 0.6% to 7,173.30. New Zealand and Jakarta fell while Singapore advanced.

Investors are concerned about the impact of rate hikes in the United States and other Western economies to cool rising inflation, as well as the Russian war on Ukraine and a Chinese economic slowdown.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve will provide insight into its decision-making by releasing minutes from its latest policy meeting.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 fell to 3,941.48. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2% to 31,928.62.

The S&P is down 18% from its January 3 high, putting it on the brink of a bear market, or a 20% drop from its previous high.

The Nasdaq composite, dominated by technology stocks, fell 2.3% to 11,264.45 after the social media sell-off. Snap plunged 43.1%, its biggest one-day drop ever. Facebook parent Meta dropped 7.6%. Google’s parent company fell 5.1%.

Retailers and businesses dependent on direct consumer spending fell. Amazon slipped 3.2% and Target fell 2.6%.

The pullback undermined the broad rally from the previous day.

Homebuilders slumped after a government report showed that sales of new-build homes fell by 26.9% in April from a year earlier. KB Home fell 2.7%.

Cruise lines and other travel-related companies suffered heavy losses. Carnival was down 10.3% and Norwegian Cruise Line was down 12%.

In the energy markets, the US benchmark crude rose $1.28 to $111.05 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 52 cents to $109.77 on Tuesday. Brent oil, the price base for international oil trade, rose $1.19 to $111.88 a barrel in London. It rose 14 cents the previous session to $113.56.

The dollar gained from 126.82 yen on Tuesday to 127.05 yen. The euro rose to $1.0725 from $1.0693.

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