BANGKOK — Shares were mostly lower in Asia on Wednesday despite a rally overnight on Wall Street as investors’ jitters over the Turkish currency crisis eased.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.7 percent to 22,201.21 and in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng dropped 1.7 percent to 27,271.50. The Shanghai Composite index sank 1.5 percent to 2,740.11, while the S&P ASX 200 in Australia added 0.3 percent to 6,318.80. Shares fell in Taiwan and Singapore and gained in Indonesia. South Korea’s markets were closed for a holiday.
TURKEY TURMOIL: Turkey announced Wednesday it was increasing tariffs on imports of series of U.S. products, escalating a feud with the United States that has helped trigger a currency crisis. The Turkish lira had steadied as officials from Turkey and the U.S. said the countries were in talks to ease diplomatic tensions that have led to higher U.S. tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum.
Economists say Turkey’s central bank needs to raise interest rates significantly to strengthen its currency, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ruled out that step.
WALL STREET: In the U.S., the biggest gains went to small and mid-size companies, which do more business domestically compared to the large multinational firms on indexes like the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial average. The S&P 500 index climbed 0.6 percent to 2,839.96. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4 percent to 25,299.92. The Nasdaq composite added 0.7 percent to 7,870.89 and the Russell 2000 index advanced 1 percent to 1,692.58.
ANALYST’S VIEWPOINT: “While we are nowhere near the elimination of concerns over Turkey, the improvement in sentiment from the initial reactions have helped U.S. markets higher overnight, setting a more benign tone for the region this morning,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 30 cents to $66.74 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 16 cents to $67.04 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils gave up 17 cents to $72.29 per barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 111.27 yen from 111.14 yen. The euro slipped to $1.1328 from $1.1348.
By ELAINE KURTENBACH , Associated Press