TOKYO — Asian shares were mostly lower Monday as market attention turned from action from central banks to the U.S. presidential race, with a closely watched debate upcoming.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 edged down 0.8 percent in morning trading to 16,623.05. South Korea’s Kospi slipped nearly 0.2 percent to 2,050.86. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.1 percent to 23,437.65, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.6 percent to 3,015.10.
WALL STREET: The fall on Wall Street last week also weighed on market sentiments in Asia. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 131.01 points, or 0.7 percent, to 18,261.45. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 12.49 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,164.69 and the Nasdaq composite index lost 33.78, or 0.6 percent, to 5,305.75.
THE DEBATE: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will confront each other face-to-face for the first time in Monday night’s 90-minute, prime-time presidential debate. Television audience is expected to set a record for the high-stakes showdown, which could help tip the balance in a tight White House race.
THE QUOTE: “With volatility near to year-to-date low, the spotlight has now shifted from the central banks’ policies to the upcoming U.S. presidential debates between Clinton and Trump,” said Margaret Yang Yan, market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore. “Investors will be watching closely on the shift of momentum in the race, which could once again trigger a new wave of market volatility.”
ENERGY: Oil prices recouped last week’s losses. U.S. benchmark crude oil futures added 41 cents to $44.89 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 38 cents to $46.86 a barrel.
CURRENCIES: The euro rose to $1.1235 from $1.199. The U.S. dollar edged lower to 100.81 yen from 100.93 yen.
Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama
Her work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/yuri-kageyama