Asian Markets Slip as Tech Stocks Record Sharp Decline
Shares in Asia-Pacific slipped in Thursday trade, with technology stocks in the region falling sharply.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 2.13% to close at 28,930.11 while the Topix index shed 1.04% to finish its trading day at 1,884.74.
South Korea’s Kospi also slipped 1.28% to close at 3,043.49.
Shares in Australia also declined as the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.84% to close at 6,760.70. Australia’s January retail sales increased 0.5% month on month on a seasonally adjusted basis
The country also recorded a trade surplus of 10.142 billion Australian dollars (about $7.88 billion), higher than expectations in a Reuters poll for a 6.5 billion Australian dollar trade surplus.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 1.9%.
Investors kept an eye on tech shares in Asia on Thursday after their counterparts stateside fell overnight amid a rise in bond yields.
Shares of Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group dropped 5.19%. In South Korea, industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics fell 1.9% while chipmaker SK Hynix slipped 3.4%.
Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese tech companies also suffered heavy losses: Tencent fell 4.56% while Meituan dropped 8.75% and Alibaba slipped 2.24%. In Taiwan, shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company shed 3.38%.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.7% to close at 12,997.75 on Wednesday, with shares of Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet all dropping more than 2% each.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 91.049 following an earlier low of 90.972.
The Japanese yen traded at 107.18 per dollar, still weaker than levels below 106.8 against the greenback seen earlier in the week.
The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7801, weaker than levels above $0.792 seen last week.
Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours on Thursday, with international benchmark Brent crude futures rising 0.61% to $64.46 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.54% to $61.61 per barrel.
The moves in oil markets came as investors watched for developments from OPEC and its non-OPEC partners — an energy alliance sometimes referred to as OPEC+. The group is set to meet on Thursday to discuss how to manage supply to the market.