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Asia stocks fall as financials follow Wall Street lower

Equity indices fell in Asia Pacific as financial stocks tracked their Wall Street counterparts lower, while gasoline and oil prices dipped further as refineries in the US continued to come back online.

Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.4 per cent as financials dropped 1.4 per cent. In Tokyo the Topix was off 0.3 per cent as financial stocks fell 1.3 per cent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was off 0.3 per cent, with Wharf Holdings down 1.8 per cent after Credit Suisse cut its target price for the stock to HK$73.30.

Currencies were stabilising after a drop in the dollar overnight. The dollar index tracking the greenback against a basket of peers was flat at 92.256 after a drop of 0.4 per cent overnight on dovish comments from US Federal Reserve officials.

The Australian dollar was level at $0.7994 following the release of figures showing gross domestic product rose 0.8 per cent in the second quarter, coming in just below expectations.

Japan’s yen was steady in Asia trading, firming 0.1 per cent to ¥108.71 per dollar after strengthening past the ¥109 mark overnight as nerves about the latest nuclear weapons test by North Korea bolstered the currency’s haven status.