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NEW YORK: Wall Street’s major indexes have pared some earlier losses as higher US government bond yields drive gains for banks and other financial stocks.

Markets had initially fallen on a Bloomberg report that China, the world’s biggest holder of US Treasuries, was considering slowing purchases.

The S&P financial index rose, helped by gains in Wells Fargo and JPMorgan ahead of results on Friday.

The China report weakened the US dollar, which slipped 0.25 per cent, while gold jumped to its highest in four months.

In late afternoon trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.13 per cent, at 25,352.72, the S&P 500 was down 0.20 per cent, at 2,745.82 and the Nasdaq Composite was down or 0.27 per cent, at 7,144.11.

LONDON: Speculation that China may cut or even halt its purchases of US Treasurys weighed on European stock markets on Wednesday, while Britain’s key index rose, hitting a new record close.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX fell 0.78 per cent to 13,281.34 while the CAC 40 in France declined 0.2 per cent to 5,500.

A rise in banks and oil stocks boosted the UK’s top share index to a fresh record on Wednesday as climbing bond yields supported financials across Europe.

Britain’s blue chip FTSE 100 index was up 0.23 per cent at 7,748.51 points, a new closing record and outperforming the broader European market, while mid-caps declined 0.6 per cent.

TOKYO: A drop in the scale of long-term bond purchases by the Bank of Japan on Tuesday triggered speculation over further ‘tapering’ of asset purchases. That pushed the Japanese yen higher against the US dollar, denting some exporters’ shares.

Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.46 per cent while Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.26 per cent to 23,788.20

But, Hong Kong and China’s key indexes fared better.

Hong Kong stocks extended their winning streak to a 12th day on Wednesday, aided by strong inflows from mainland China with one-third of the daily quota under the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect used up.

The Hang Seng index climbed 0.20 per cent to 31,073.72

Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite index added 0.23 per cent to 3,421.83, while its blue-chip CSI300 index lifted 0.44 per cent to 4,207.81

WELLINGTON: The S&P/NZX50 Index dropped 0.8 per cent, to 8,364.9.