On Wednesday, Asian stock markets fell as improved economic data out of the U.S. failed to overcome worries about Europe’s festering debt crisis.
Nikkei 225 index of Japan lost 0.1 percent to 8,529.98 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 1.7 percent to 19,025.92; Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan, Australia and mainland China also fell.
Stocks in Asia didn’t follow through on the momentum from Wall Street, where a session of big swings ended with modest gains. The Dow rose 0.1 percent to 12,096.16. The S&P 500 gained 0.5 percent to 1,257.81, and the Nasdaq added 1.1 percent to 2,686.20.
Data on retail sales showed Americans spending more on autos, electronics and building supplies in October — the fifth straight month of increases.
Sales increased 0.5 percent from the previous month, a faster rate than economists expected and the latest indication that the U.S. economy is likely to avoid another recession.
Europe could head back into recession over the coming months, according to many economists.