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Asian stock prices rebound after Wall Street slips

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets were mostly higher Friday after Wall Street closed lower amid uncertainty about the U.S. economic outlook.

Benchmarks in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul advanced a day after retreating on weak Chinese retail spending data. Tokyo and Sydney were little-changed.

Overnight, Wall Street's benchmark S&P-500 index lost 0.3% after reports including one showing more layoffs.

“This may indicate nothing more than a short pause for repositioning, or minor correction before the next upward leg,” Robert Carnell of ING said in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.9% to 3,237.82 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.9% to 25,191.12. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo slipped 0.3% to 22,713.80.

The Kospi in Seoul gained 0.7% to 2,198.23 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 was down less than 0.1% at 6,008.40. New Zealand and Singapore advanced while Jakarta declined.

Global markets have recovered most of this year’s losses, buoyed by optimisms about reports of work on a possible coronavirus vaccine. But economists warn the rise might be too fast to be supported by uncertain economic activity as infections in the United States and some other countries rise.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 declined to 3,215.57 on Thursday for its first loss in three days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.5% to 26,734.71. The Nasdaq composite, which set a record last week, lost 0.7% to 10,473.83.

U.S. investors have been encouraged by signs of more business activity as anti-virus controls are eased. But California and some other areas have reimposed orders closing bars and some other businesses after a renewed surge in infections.

Enthusiasm was dampened Thursday by data showing 1.3 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week.

Tech stocks were among the market’s hardest hit, a turnaround from their resilient run through much of the pandemic. Microsoft fell 2%. Apple lost 1.2%. Both still up roughly 30% this year on expectations that they can keep growing despite the pandemic.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 1 cent to $40.74 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract declined 45 cents on Thursday to settle at $40.75. Brent crude, the standing for pricing international oils, retreated 6 cents to $43.31 per barrel in London. It fell 42 cents the previous session to $43.37.

The dollar declined to 107.23 yen from Thursday's 107.26 yen. The euro was unchanged at $1.1386.

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