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World News | Stocks Today: Asia follows Wall Street lower as U.S. and China foreign ministers meet

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Streaks of light seen in California. (Image source: video capture)

BEIJING, June 19 (AP) Asian stocks followed Wall Street lower on Monday after top U.S. and Chinese diplomats agreed to cooperate in a meeting amid friction over a series of clashes.

Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul retreated. Sydney earned it. Oil prices fell nearly $1.

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Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 fell 0.4% on Friday after the Federal Reserve left its benchmark lending rate unchanged but warned last week that it could raise rates later if needed to cool inflation.

On Sunday, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang held what the Chinese government called “candid, in-depth and constructive talks” at a time when relations between the two countries were at their lowest point in decades. They expressed a willingness to cooperate on major issues, but did not signal any progress on issues such as Taiwan, human rights, technology and security.

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“It remains to be seen whether this will lead to any real positive outcomes,” IG’s Yeap Jun Rong said in a note. “Any inaction on this front may still eventually lead to fading optimism.”

The Shanghai Composite fell 0.3 percent to 3,262.59 and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.3 percent to 33,591.82. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.6% to 19,915.51.

Seoul’s Kospi fell 0.8 percent to 2,605.46, while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 rose 0.4 percent to 7,277.70. New Zealand, Singapore, Jakarta and Bangkok also saw declines.

On Friday, the S&P 500 fell as low as 4,409.59, but closed with a fifth straight weekly gain. The index is near a 14-month high after rising 15 percent this year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3% to 34,299.12. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.7 percent to 13,689.57.

Humana fell 3.9 percent, one of the biggest decliners on the S&P 500, after it became the latest health insurer to warn of rising costs due to pent-up demand for medical services. Health insurance giant UnitedHealth issued a similar warning earlier.

Last week, the Federal Reserve kept its benchmark lending rate unchanged, the first time in 10 consecutive months that it did not announce a rate hike.

However, the Fed has warned that it could raise rates two more times this year. Wall Street is betting on a rate hike at its next meeting on July 25-26.

A survey on Friday suggested that U.S. consumers are also lowering their expectations for upcoming inflation. Preliminary data from the University of Michigan survey also pointed to a stronger-than-expected increase in consumer confidence.

Chemicals company Cabot shares fell 8.1% after the company said weak global demand, especially in China, would hit profits this year.

Software maker Adobe rose 0.9 percent after reporting solid financial results and raising its profit forecast. (Associated Press)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)


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