Asia report: Tech shares lead Monday tumble across region
Stock markets were in the red by the end of trading in Asia on Monday, as investors began to close their pocketbooks ahead of a slew of economic data out of China later in the week, as well as the latest interest rate decision from the US Federal Reserve.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down 3.01% at 26,987.44, as the yen weakened 0.06% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 134.49.
Automation specialist Fanuc was down 3.64%, fashion firm Fast Retailing lost 2.92%, and technology conglomerate SoftBank Group tumbled 6.85%.
The broader Topix index was 2.16% lower by the end of trading in Tokyo, settling at 1,901.06.
On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was 0.89% weaker at 3,255.55, and the technology-heavy Shenzhen Component slipped 0.3% to 11,999.31.
Concerns over a resurgence in Covid-19 in China weighed heavily on Monday, with a number of districts in both Beijing and Shanghai being subjected to mass testing mere weeks after previous lockdowns and restrictions were lifted.
South Korea’s Kospi tumbled 3.52% to 2,504.51, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong slid 3.39% to 21,067.58.
Chinese technology plays led the losses in the special administrative region, with Alibaba Group plummeting 7.98%, and Tencent Holdings 4.89% lower.
The blue-chip tech stocks were weaker in Seoul as well, with Samsung Electronics down 2.66% and SK Hynix losing 4.35%.
“Asian markets were also under the cosh on renewed growth concerns,” said Interactive Investor head of markets Richard Hunter of the situation on Monday.
“The optimism of the previous week all but evaporated as a fresh round of mass testing was announced in Beijing following a ‘ferocious' outbreak in the heavily populated area of Chaoyang.
“With easing restrictions only having been announced over the last few days, inevitably the news prompted concerns that demand and indeed consumer confidence would suffer a fresh blow, thus adding to the cocktail of factors which could inhibit global growth.”
Oil prices were lower at the end of the Asian day, with Brent crude futures last down 1.73% at $119.90 per barrel on ICE, and West Texas Intermediate losing 1.82% to $118.47 on NYMEX.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 1.25% weaker at 6,932.00, while across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 lost 1.9% to 10,924.74.
The down under dollars were both weaker against the greenback, with the Aussie last off 0.99% at AUD 1.4335, and the Kiwi retreating 0.85% to NZD 1.5868.
Reporting by Josh White at Sharecast.com.