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Asia-Pacific shares slip following overnight Wall Street sell-off; oil prices drop

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific fell in Thursday morning trade following overnight losses on Wall Street after the release of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s July meeting minutes.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan declined 0.37% while the Topix index shed 0.56%. South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.37%.

Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed, with the Shanghai composite slipping 0.36% while the Shenzhen component advanced 0.177%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 0.26%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.58%. Australia’s unemployment rate declined to 4.6% in July, against June’s reading of 4.9%, according to seasonally adjusted estimates released Thursday by the country’s Bureau of Statistics.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.44% lower.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 382.59 points to 34,960.69 while the S&P 500 shed 1.07% to 4,400.27. The Nasdaq Composite slid 0.89% to 14,525.91.

Those losses came as minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July gathering showed officials made plans to pull back the pace of their monthly bond purchases likely before the end of the year.

“Looking ahead, most participants noted that, provided that the economy were to evolve broadly as they anticipated, they judged that it could be appropriate to start reducing the pace of asset purchases this year,” the minutes stated.

Oil prices fell in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures dropping 1.08% to $67.49 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 1.36% to $64.57 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.314 after a recent spike from below 92.8.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.98 per dollar, still weaker than levels below 109.5 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7225, having dropped from above $0.73 earlier in the week.

— CNBC’s Jeff Cox contributed to this report.

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