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Asian stocks fall

HONG KONG: Asian stock markets were mostly lower Wednesday amid continuing concerns about high oil prices and the impact this could have on the global economy.

Leading the way down were Tokyo, Seoul and Kuala Lumpur, but some of the markets in the Asia-Pacific ended the day higher on strong local fundamentals, such as Hong Kong’s strengthening property sector.

TOKYO: The Tokyo Stock Exchange’s benchmark Nikkei-225 index lost 0.48 per cent or 54.42 points to 11,242.34. The broader TOPIX index of all first section shares dropped 7.40 points or 0.65 per cent to 1,136.87.

"The surge in crude oil futures overnight is weighing on the stock market today," said Ryuta Otsuka, strategist at Toyo Securities.

Investors were also cautious ahead of a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Thursday and May US jobs data Friday, said Takashi Aoki, vice president of Fuji Investment Management.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange Tuesday, the July crude oil futures contract closed at a record 42.33 dollars a barrel, up 2.45 dollars or 6.1 per cent from Friday’s closing level.


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