Asian stocks fall, taking cue from Wall Street on travel ban

TOKYO: Asian shares slipped Tuesday, tracking a decline on Wall Street set off by jitters over President Donald Trump's travel ban.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 dipped 1.3 percent to 19,126.99 as a stronger yen also helped send shares lower. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.6 percent to 5,630.60. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.4 percent to 2,074.40. Markets in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan were closed for Lunar New Year holidays.

THE QUOTE: "A rude awakening was seen for markets at the start of the week as President Donald Trump's latest policy on immigration tipped the market into risk-off mode," said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG in Singapore.

WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 122.65 points, or 0.6 percent, to 19,971.13. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 13.79 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,280.90. The Nasdaq composite dropped 47.07 points, or 0.8 percent, to 5,613.71 after closing at an all-time high on Friday.

TRUMP FACTOR: Trump's travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries rattled investors, hitting energy companies and airlines. Technology companies also sagged on concerns that future administration moves will make it harder for them to hire skilled, foreign-born workers. Trump also suspended the US refugee program for 120 days and stopped all entry by Syrians into the US.

JAPAN: Japan's central bank left its lax monetary policy unchanged in its first board meeting of the year, but upgraded its growth estimates, citing signs of recovery in manufacturing. The most recent data, for December, paint a mixed picture, with stronger factory output but weaker retail sales and household spending.

ENERGY: US crude oil slid 24 cents to $52.39 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 54 cents Monday to $52.63 a barrel. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, fell 12 cents to $55.20 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 113.51 yen from 114.38 yen on Monday. The euro dipped to $1.0697 from $1.0731.