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China Markets Follows Wall Street in Decline as Tech Stocks Lead in Asia Slip

Markets in Asia-Pacific declined Wednesday, with technology shares regionally mostly seeing losses. Mainland Chinese stocks dropped on the day, with the Shanghai composite slipping 1.86% to about 3,254.63 while the Shenzhen component fell 3.247% to 12,861.75. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed 0.81%, as of its final hour of trading.

Chinese inflation data for August released Wednesday showed the producer price index declined 2.0% in August from a year earlier, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics. That was in line with expectations for a 2.0% fall in a Reuters poll. The consumer price index in August rose 2.4% as compared with a year ago, also in line with expectations of analysts in a Reuters poll.

Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 also saw sizable losses as it dropped 2.15% to close at 5,878.60, with shares of the country’s major banks such as Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac falling.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 declined 1.04% to finish its trading day at 23,032.54 while the Topix index fell 0.96% to close at 1,605.40. South Korea’s Kospi also slipped 1.09% to close at 2,375.81. Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan declined 1.07%.

The moves regionally came as Investors reacted to overnight declines on Wall Street. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.1% to close at 10,847.69. Tuesday’s drop put the tech-heavy Nasdaq down 10% over the past three days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 632.42 points, or 2.3%, to end its trading day at 27,500.89. The S&P 500 slid 2.8% to close at 3,331.84.

“The recent sell-off reflects an accumulation of investor worries centered on the performance of technology and growth stocks, which has reverberated through global equity markets,” Kerry Craig, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, wrote in a note.

“A market fuelled by central bank largesse, economic surprises and record earnings beats in the last few months was never going to maintain its heady pace forever,” Craig said, though he acknowledged that “broad pillars of support for the equity market remain intact.”

Shares of technology stocks in Asia-Pacific mostly dropped on Wednesday, following losses seen by their counterparts stateside.

Shares of Japanese conglomerate Softbank Group fell 2.87%. The stock has plunged more than 10% since its Friday close after a Financial Times report identified the firm as the “Nasdaq whale” that bought billions of dollars in technology company stock options over the past month.

Elsewhere, similar losses were also seen. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company saw its stock in Taiwan decline 0.93%. Over in South Korea, SK Hynix shares slipped 2.64%. In Hong Kong, shares of Chinese tech giant Alibaba dropped 2.67% while Xiaomi fell 1.79% in afternoon trade. Sunny Optical, however, rose 1.29%.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca said a late-stage trial of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate has been put on hold due to safety concerns. That came following a suspected serious adverse reaction in a participant in the United Kingdom, according to STAT News.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 93.509 following its rise earlier this week from levels below 93.0.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.93 per dollar after an earlier high of 105.76 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7225 after falling from levels above $0.726 yesterday. Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.1% to $39.82 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also edged 0.11% higher to $36.80 per barrel.