Asian Markets Trade Lower as Tech Shares Post Decline
Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Tuesday, as investors monitored technology stocks regionally after their counterparts declined on Wall Street overnight.
Mainland Chinese stocks were lower by the close. The Shanghai composite was down 0.17% at 3,636.36 while the Shenzhen component dipped 0.611% to 15,243.25. However, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 1.03% to finish its trading day at 30,632.64.
South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.31% to close at 3,070.09. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.86% higher to finish the trading day at 6,839.20.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.36%.
On the earnings front, HSBC said Tuesday its reported profit before tax for 2020 fell 34% from a year ago to $8.8 billion. It also declared an interim dividend of 15 cents per share.
The bank’s profit was above analyst expectations of $8.3 billion for the whole of last year, based on estimates compiled by the London-headquartered bank. Shares of HSBC in Hong Kong gained 0.43% on Tuesday.
Markets in Japan were closed on Tuesday for a holiday.
Tech shares Plunge
Technology shares in Asia fell on Tuesday, with Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba shedding 1.2%. Xiaomi dropped 3.1% and Kuaishou plunged 5.24%. South Korea’s LG Electronics fell 5.12% while Samsung Electronics dipped 0.24%.
The moves came after tech shares stateside tumbled overnight — the Nasdaq Composite fell 2.46% to close at 13,533.05, with Big Tech stocks such as Apple, Amazon and Microsoft all falling at least 2%.
In other tech developments, Facebook reached an agreement with the Australian government and will restore news pages in the country again, just days after restricting them.
The S&P 500 declined 0.8% to end its trading day on Wall Street at 3,876.50. The Dow Jones Industrial Average bucked the overall trend as it edged 27.37 points higher to close at 31,521.69.
Asian Markets Oil & Currencies
Oil prices were higher in Asia afternoon trading hours. International benchmark Brent crude futures were up 1.64% to $66.31 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 1.47% to $62.61 per barrel.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.088 following an earlier low of 89.943.
The Japanese yen traded at 105.13 per dollar, stronger than levels above 105.6 against the greenback seen yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7905, largely holding on to gains following its surge late last week from around $0.777.