Asian shares mostly lower after mixed day on Wall Street

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A currency trader walks near the screen showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. Shares were mostly lower in Asia on Thursday after a mixed session on Wall Street as losses by technology and industrial companies offset other gains. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

TOKYO – Shares were mostly lower in Asia on Thursday after a mixed session on Wall Street as losses by technology and industrial companies offset other gains.

Shanghai saw a modest gain after reopening following the Lunar New Year holiday. Shares fell in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held near its highest level in a year, at 1.27%. Bond rates have risen on expectations that pandemic recoveries will push inflation higher, and that has capped buying enthusiasm, as investors have sold to lock in recent gains.

The U.S. Labor Department reported Wednesday that U.S. wholesale prices surged by a record 1.3% in January, led by big gains in health care and energy prices. The bigger-than-expected increase was the largest one-month gain on records that go back to 2009.

Underscoring signs of recovery, the Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales soared a seasonally adjusted 5.3% in January from the month before, the biggest increase since June and much larger than forecast.

Optimism that rollouts of coronavirus vaccines will set the stage for stronger economic growth in the second half of this year have been pushing shares higher.

The Shanghai Composite index gained 0.4% to 3,669.42 and the S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.1% higher, to 6,893.10. Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 0.2% to 30,230.63, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong shed 1.2% to 30,723.83. In South Korea, the Kospi gave up 1.2% to 3,097.20.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 1.27% from 1.28% late Wednesday, near its highest level in a year. The rise in bond yields has raised some concerns about the potential for higher inflation, but has also been a sign that the prospect for economic growth remains good.