Asian stocks fall amid Trump trade policy fears, strong yen

People are reflected on the electronic board of a securities firm in Tokyo,Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Asian markets slipped in muted trading Friday amid worries over U.S. trade policies that may affect regional economies. A stronger yen weighed on Japan's exporters. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
People walk by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Asian markets slipped in muted trading Friday amid worries over U.S. trade policies that may affect regional economies. A stronger yen weighed on Japan's exporters. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
People walk by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Asian markets slipped in muted trading Friday amid worries over U.S. trade policies that may affect regional economies. A stronger yen weighed on Japan's exporters. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

TOKYO — Asian markets slipped in muted trading Friday amid worries over U.S. trade policies that may affect regional economies. A stronger yen weighed on Japan's exporters.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 edged 0.2 percent lower to 19,339.56, while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.5 percent to 2,097.05. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.7 percent to 5,742.70. Hong Kong's Hang Seng stood at 23,959.91, down 0.6 percent, and the Shanghai Composite index shed 0.4 percent to 3,238.27.

TRUMP WORRIES: President Donald Trump's stance on trade has unnerved many in Asia, as he has repeatedly accused countries like China and Japan of unfair competition and currency manipulation that he says are hurting U.S. jobs.

JITTERY TIMES: "While shares have generally continued to push higher they remain at risk of a short term correction being technically overbought again, and with short term investor sentiment at levels often associated with corrections," Shane Oliver of AMP Capital said in a commentary.

WALL STREET: The Dow added 34.72 points, or 0.2 percent, to 20,810.32. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.99 points to 2,363.81. The Nasdaq composite lost 25.12 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,835.51. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks slid 9.23 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,394.62.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil futures shed 15 cents to $54.30 a barrel. It rebounded 86 cents to $54.45 a barrel in New York overnight. Brent crude, the standard for pricing international oils, fell 11 cents to $56.71 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar dropped to 112.89 yen from 113.26 yen late Thursday. The euro rose to $1.0571 from $1.0554.

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Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

Her work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/yuri-kageyama

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