Asian shares skid, tracking Wall Street retreat

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A currency trader covers his face with his hands at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. Shares were mostly lower in Asia on Wednesday after the latest report of surging prices in the U.S. appeared to keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates in coming months.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

BANGKOK (AP) — Asian shares slipped Friday after a retreat on Wall Street that left the Nasdaq composite down 2.5%.

Tokyo fell nearly 2% and Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul also were lower.

China reported its global trade surplussurged nearly 30% in 2021 to $676.4 billion. The trade surplus in December swelled 20.8% over a year earlier to a monthly record of $94.4 billion, customs data showed Friday.

Exports rose to $3.3 trillion in 2021 despite shortages of processor chips for smartphones and other products as global demand rebounded from the pandemic. Manufacturers also were hampered by power rationing imposed in some areas.

The Shanghai Composite index lost 0.6% to 3,534.17 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 1% to 24,195.79. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 1.8% to 27,987.78.

South Korea’s Kospi declined 1.5% to 2,918.94. In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.9% to 7,405.10.

Technology companies led a sell-off on Wall Street Thursday that pulled the major indexes into the red for the week.

The S&P 500 fell 1.4% to 4,659.03. The tech-heavy Nasdaq slumped 2.5% to 14,806.81. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5% to 36,113.62.

Smaller company stocks also fell. The Russell 2000 slid 16.62 points, or 0.8%, to 2,159.44.

The selling came as investors gauged company earnings reports and new data pointing to rising pricesat the wholesale level. Inflation has been a key focus for investors as they try to gauge how rising prices will impact businesses, consumers and the Federal Reserve’s policy on interest rates in 2022.

“Investors are continuing to be concerned that the worst is yet to be seen in terms of inflation,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 1.72% from 1.73% from late Wednesday.

The Labor Department on Thursday reported that its producer price index, which measures prices at the wholesale level, surged by a record 9.7% for all of 2021. The increase set an annual record and provides further evidence that inflation is still present at all levels of the U.S. economy. The report follows Wednesday’s release of consumer price data for December, which showed that inflation jumped at its fastest pace in nearly 40 years last month.

Many of the big tech companies with solid revenue and profits, such as Apple and Microsoft, will suffer less than their counterparts that have little revenue, but rosy projections, he said.

Even so, those big tech names also lost ground Thursday. Apple fell 1.9% and Microsoft fell 4.2%.

Health care stocks, communication services firms and a mix of companies that rely on direct consumer spending were among the decliners. Pfizer fell 2%, Facebook parent Meta Platforms dropped 2% and Amazon slid 2.4%.

Industrial companies were among the few gainers. Delta Air Lines rose 2.1% after reporting surprisingly good fourth-quarter financial results. Other airlines also got a boost. American Airlines rose 4.5% and United Airlines rose 3.5%.

U.S. benchmark crude oil shed 33 cents to $81.79 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude, the basis for pricing international oil, lost 15 cents to $84.32 per barrel.

The dollar weakened to 113.66 Japanese yen from 114.18 yen. The euro rose to $1.1476 from $1.1457.

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AP Business Writers Damian J. Troise and Alex Veiga contributed.

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