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Profit Warnings from Bellwether US Firms Drag Asian Shares Down

By Investors Hub

Most Asian stocks fell on Wednesday as profit warnings from bellwether U.S. companies and worries about rising bond yields kept investors on edge. Australian and New Zealand markets were closed for Anzac Day.

The dollar edged up after the ten-year U.S. Treasury yield climbed above 3 percent for the first time since early 2014 on Tuesday.

Gold prices fell on dollar strength and easing geopolitical tensions, while oil held stable but below recent highs following reports that the U.S. and France are close to reaching an agreement to preserve the Iran nuclear deal.

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Chinese shares fell after reports that the government is considering unveiling new rules to govern the asset management industry.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slid 10.93 points or 0.4 percent to 3,118.00, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slumped 308.09 points or 1 percent to 30,328.15.

Japanese shares fell on worries about higher interest rates and ahead of upcoming earnings results. The Nikkei 225 Index shed 62.80 points or 0.3 percent to end at 22,215.32, and the broader Topix Index closed 0.1 percent lower at 1,767.73.

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Semiconductor equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron lost 2 percent ahead of its earnings release later in the day. Canon dropped 1.6 percent before announcing its first quarter results.

Takeda Pharmaceutical slumped as much as 7 percent after it struck a deal to buy Irish drug maker Shire for about $65 billion.

Kobe Steel declined 3.6 percent after the company confirmed it is under investigation by Japanese authorities over its data tampering.

Meanwhile, Honda Motor, Toyota Motor and Mazda Motor all gained around 1 percent as the dollar rose to 109.16 yen from 108.82 yen.

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Seoul stocks fell notably even as technology stocks recovered some ground following downbeat news from chipmaker SK Hynix. The benchmark Kospi dropped 15.33 points or 0.6 percent to 2,448.81.

SK Hynix reversed early losses to finish 0.4 percent higher, while Samsung Electronics ended roughly flat after recouping initial losses.

On the data front, South Korean consumer confidence weakened for the fifth consecutive month in April, survey data from Bank of Korea showed. The consumer sentiment index fell to 107.1 in April from 108.1 in March.

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Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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