Asian stocks mixed after Wall Street decline

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BANGKOK (AP) — Asian stocks were mixed Wednesday after Wall Street slid and South Korea reported factory output contracted, while markets in China and Hong Kong were closed for a holiday.

KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.1 percent to 16,192.15 points, Taipei gained 0.5 percent to 9,012.64 and Sydney and Jakarta also rose. Seoul's Kospi slid 0.6 percent to 2,008.86 and Singapore and New Zealand also were down.

WALL STREET: Wall Street ended a stormy month with a loss for September after low oil prices hurt energy stocks and Ford Motor Co. cut its profit forecast. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.2 percent and the broader Standard & Poor's 500 fell 0.3 percent. The Nasdaq composite also lost 0.3 percent.

KOREA: Stocks slid after the government reported industrial production contracted by 3.8 in August from the previous month. That was driven by a 16 percent slide in output from the auto manufacturing industry.

HONG KONG: Pro-democracy demonstrators threatened to expand protests that closed streets in the business district in the biggest threat to Beijing's authority since China took control of the former British colony in 1997. Some banks, schools and stores have closed, though analysts say they see no significant damage to the economy of this Asian financial center.

THE QUOTE: "The increased pressure from the U.S. slide will put increased pressure on the rest of the world," said IG Markets strategist Evan Lucas in a report. "The U.S. is the lead market — increased selling in the U.S. will lead to risk-off strategies in the rest of the world, particularly emerging markets."

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. oil added 26 cents to $91.42 per barrel in electronic trading in New York. The contract dropped $3.41 on Tuesday to $91.16, pushed down by plentiful supplies and a rise in the U.S. dollar — in which oil sales are priced — against other currencies.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 109.94 yen from Tuesday's 109.66 yen. The euro held steady at $1.26.