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Stock market today: Asian shares slide after Wall St rout driven by high yields, mixed earnings

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A person walks in front of an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023, in Tokyo. Shares were mixed Tuesday in Asia after Wall Street wobbled to a mixed close as yields on U.S. Treasury bonds fell back after creeping above 5%. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares skidded Thursday in Asia after Wall Street tumbled as bond yields tightened their chokehold.

U.S. futures slipped and oil prices also fell after some of the most influential U.S. companies turned in mixed profit reports.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 sank 2.1% to 30,628.04 and the Kospi in Seoul declined 2.3% to 2,309.14.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.8% to 16,942.93, while the Shanghai Composite index gave up 0.3% to 2,965.35.

Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.8% to 6,799.00. In Bangkok, the SET sank 0.8%, while Taiwan's Taiex fell 1.5%.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 tumbled 1.4% to 4,186.88, falling back to where it was in May. Some of the heaviest losses hit Big Tech stocks, which dragged the Nasdaq composite to its second-worst drop of the year, shedding 2.4% to 12,821.22. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3% to 33,035.93.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury nudged back up toward 5%. It was at 4.98% early Thursday after dipping to 4.82% late Tuesday.

Rapidly rising yields have been knocking the stock market lower since the summer. The 10-year yield has been catching up to the Federal Reserve’s main interest rate, which is above 5.25% and at its highest level since 2001 as the central bank tries to get inflation under control.

High yields whittle away at prices for stocks and other investments while slowing the overall economy and adding pressure to the financial system. They tend to take the biggest toll on stocks seen as pricey or those requiring their investors to wait the longest for big growth. That puts the spotlight on internet-related, technology and other high-growth stocks. Sharp drops of 5.6% for Amazon, 4.3% for Nvidia and 1.3% for Apple were the heaviest weights on the S&P 500.

Alphabet tugged the market lower even though the parent company of Google and YouTube reported stronger profit than expected. Its stock fell 9.5% on worries about a slowdown in growth for its cloud-computing business.

Microsoft was an outlier and rose 3.1% after reporting stronger profit and revenue for the summer than analysts expected. Its movements carry extra weight on the market because it’s the second-largest company by market value.

High interest rates and yields have already inflicted pain on the housing market, where mortgage rates have jumped to their highest levels since 2000. The Fed's hope is to restrain the economy enough to cool inflation, but not so much that it creates a deep recession.

A report on Wednesday said sales of new homes were stronger in September than economists expected, potentially complicating things for the Fed. Sales of new homes have been mostly recovering since hitting a trough in the summer of 2022, with a dearth of existing homes for sale pushing buyers toward new construction.

Preliminary U.S. economic growth data for July-September are due later Thursday.

In the oil market, U.S. benchmark crude oil lost 20 cents to $85.18 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. A barrel of U.S. crude rose $1.65 to settle at $85.39 on Wednesday.

Brent crude, the international standard, declined 38 cents to $88.74 per barrel. It jumped $2.06 to $90.13 per barrel on Wednesday.

U.S. oil surged above $93 last month, and it’s bounced up and down since then amid concerns that the latest Israel-Hamas war could lead to disruptions in supplies from Iran or other big oil-producing countries.

In currency dealings, the U.S. dollar climbed to 150.44 Japanese yen on expectations that Japan's central bank will not alter its longstanding near-zero interest rate stance at a policy meeting next week.

The gap between the minus 0.1% Japanese benchmark rate and much higher rates in the U.S. and elsewhere has sharply weakened the yen. To a certain extent, that's a boon for export manufacturers who register much higher profit in yen back home, but it undercuts the currency's purchasing power for imports.

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