Asian Shares Fall

Thursday 1441/7/3 - 2020/02/27
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Tokyo, February 27, 2020, SPA -- Shares fell in Asia on Thursday. Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 2.1% to 21,948.23, while in Australia, the S&P ASX/200 dropped 0.8% to 6,657.90. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.8% to 26,491.52.
In South Korea, where 334 new cases of the virus were reported, the Kospi dropped 1% to 2,056.76. The central bank downgraded its growth estimate for 2020 to 2.1% from 2.3% and said the virus outbreak would have a short-term impact on business activity, after growth fell to its slowest in a decade last year. The Bank of Korea kept its key policy rate unchanged, at its current record low 1.25%.
The Shanghai Composite index rose 0.2% to 2,993.15, while shares fell in most of Southeast Asia, AP reported.
Energy companies led the selling Wednesday as the price of U.S. crude oil fell 2.3% on Wednesday.
By midday Thursday, benchmark crude had shed 73 cents to $48.00 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday, it lost $1.17 to settle at $48.73 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the international standard, shed 75 cents to $52.06 per barrel. It dropped $1.52 to close at $53.43 a barrel in London.
Gold jumped $10.60 to $1,653.70 per ounce, silver rose 24 cents to $18.07 per ounce and copper fell 2 cents to $2.58 per pound.
The dollar fell to 110.05 Japanese yen from 110.40 yen on Wednesday. The euro strengthened to $1.0906 from $1.0884.
--SPA
11:43 LOCAL TIME 08:43 GMT
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