Plus   Neg

Asian Markets Called Lower On Profit Taking

The Asian stock markets are expected to see mild selling pressure on Thursday as investors figure to lock in gains after hefty gains in the previous session.

Adding to the cautious sentiment, Spain's bad loans reached an 18-year high in February, the Bank of Spain said on Wednesday. About 8.16 percent of loans held by banks in February were non-performing, the highest since October 1994.

Some uninspired earnings news from Intel and IBM also may weigh on investors.

The major U.S. averages ended lower on Wednesday as the Dow fell 82.79 points or 0.6 percent to finish at 13,032.75, while the NASDAQ dipped 11.37 points or 0.4 percent to end at 3,031.45 and the S&P 500 slid 5.64 points or 0.4 percent to 1,385.14.

The major European markets also declined on Wednesday. The DAX of Germany finished lower by 1.01 percent and the CAC 40 of France lost 1.59 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. closed down by 0.38 percent and the SMI of Switzerland dipped by 0.43 percent.

The Asian bourses were higher on Wednesday as Japan's Nikkei surged 2.1 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite jumped 1.96 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 1.06 percent, South Korea's KOSPI spiked 0.97 percent, Thailand gathered 0.67 percent, Singapore's Straits Times collected 0.47 percent, Taiwan was up 0.25 percent, Indonesia rose 0.2 percent and Malaysia added 0.17 percent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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