SYDNEY, NSW, Australia – Stock markets in Asia were largely defensive on Wednesday, although the Australian market did gain on strong earnings reports from the country’s largest banks.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 241.37 points, or 0.83 percent, to 28,812.63 points.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 28.04 points, or 0.81 percent, to 3,446.86.
The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong fell 139.16 points, or 0.49 percent, to close at 28,417.98.
In Australia, things were different: The All Ordinaries climbed 20.70 points, or 0.70 percent, to 7,344.20.
The US dollar pulled ahead in Asia, pushing the euro below the crucial 1.2000 level. The EU unit last traded at the close in Sydney at around 1.988. The British pound fell to 1.3892. The Japanese yen was virtually unchanged at 109.44, while the Swiss franc fell to 0.9161.
The Canadian dollar was unchanged at 1.2302, but the Australian dollar fell to 0.7710. The New Zealand dollar fell more than half a cent to 0.7152.
On Wall Street overnight, the Nasdaq Composite closed the day down 261.62 points, or 1.88 percent, to hit 13,633.50.
The Standard and Poor’s 500 fell 27.90 points, or 0.67%, to 4,164.76 points.
The Dow Jones index, despite the turmoil, showed a slight increase, adding 20.26 points, or 0.06 percent, to 34,133.49.