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Asian shares dip amidst slowing economic recovery

Worries about trends in global growth, drove down U.S. and European equities, commodities and Asian markets on Wednesday. Earnings forecasts continue to be revised downward, say analysts. 

By Chikako MogiReuters / April 17, 2013

A man talking on a mobile phone walks past an electronic board showing stock prices outside a securities company in Tokyo last month.

AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama

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TOKYO

Asian shares inched lower on Thursday, taking their cues from an overnight drop in U.S. and European equities on renewed concerns about global growth, which also weighed on commodities.

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The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.3 percent, with Australian shares falling 0.4 percent, hit by sinking copper prices which deepened concerns about demand for Australia's raw materials.

South Korean shares opened down 0.4 percent.

"Cyclical large-caps are losing steam as the rate of economic recovery appears slowing in major countries such as the U.S. and China, while first-quarter earnings forecasts continue to be revised down," said Chang Jae-ho, an analyst at Daishin Securities.

Both the Standard & Poor's 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite Index closed down more than 1 percent on Wednesday after disappointing corporate earnings reports.

Apple Inc fell below $400 a share for the first time since late 2011 after a poor revenue forecast from key supplier Cirrus Logic while shares of Intel Corp, the world's largest semiconductor maker, initially fell after it forecast a sharp decline in its current-quarter revenue and trimmed its 2013 capital spending plans.

European shares fell to a 2013 low.

Japan's Nikkei average opened down 0.8 percent.

Commodities also fell on Wednesday, with copper, seen as a gauge for manufacturing and China-related growth, shedding over 3 percent. A 10.3 percent decline in European car sales over March weighed on copper prices as an indicator of slumping demand for metals.

Oil prices tumbled for a sixth straight session on Wednesday, with Brent crude futures falling below $98 per barrel for the first time since July as rising U.S. fuel supplies added to overall concern about global oil demand.

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