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Asian shares slip, echoing Wall Street’s retreat from its rally

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares dipped Wednesday after Wall Street took a step back from its big rally as markets tried to digest a slew of earnings.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 dove 2.1% in afternoon trading to 32,768.08. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.3% to 7,356.60. South Korea’s Kospi slid 1.7% to 2,620.74. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 2.1% to 19,590.86, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.9% to 3,259.93.

Investor optimism was hurt by Fitch Ratings downgrading the United States government’s credit rating, citing rising debt at the federal, state, and local levels. The rating was cut Tuesday one notch to AA+ from AAA, the highest possible rating. In 2011, the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s stripped the U.S. of its prize AAA rating.