Fin24

Asian stocks sluggish as cheer cools

2011-01-05 09:49

Tokyo - Asian shares were mildly lower in early trading on Wednesday as investors reigned in the solid New Year momentum that fueled markets the previous day.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average was trading in a tight range, fluctuating in and out of negative territory after climbing to a seven-month closing high Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, the index was down about 5 points, at 10 392.96.

South Korea's Kospi fell 0.2% to 2 081.14 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.4% to 4 723.30 as lower commodities prices hit resource-related shares.

In New York on Tuesday, a rally that pushed stocks up nearly 7% in December took a pause, with traders shrugging off a pickup in factory orders and a sharp rise in monthly sales from General Motors and Ford.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 20.43 points, to end the day at 11 691.18. The broader S&P 500 index dipped 1.69 points, to close at 1 270.20. The Nasdaq lost 10.27 points, to 2 681.25.

In currencies, the dollar rose to ¥82.16 from ¥82 late on Tuesday. The euro stood at $1.3272 from $1.3305.