Asian Equities Fall as Sell-Off in Tech Shares Persists

April 23, 2018
Asian Equities Fall as Sell-Off in Tech Shares Persists

by Investors Hub

Asian stocks ended broadly lower on Monday as a sell-off in technology shares and rising U.S. bond yields tempered investor optimism over easing geopolitical risks.

Chinese stocks closed modestly lower as tech stocks sold off on smartphone maker ZTE Corp.’s U.S. woes. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dipped 2.74 points or 0.1 percent to 3,068.80, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 163.93 points or 0.5 percent to 30,254.40.

Japanese shares retreated as technology stocks followed their U.S. peers lower and investors digested North Korea’s pledge to halt nuclear tests and intercontinental missile launches ahead of summits with the U.S. and South Korea.

On the data front, the manufacturing sector in Japan expanded at a faster rate in April, the latest survey from Nikkei revealed with a PMI score of 53.3, up from 53.1 in March.

The Nikkei 225 Index slid 74.20 points or 0.3 percent to finish at 22,088.04, while the broader Topix index closed marginally lower at 1,750.79. Chipmaker Rohm tumbled 2.4 percent and electronics components maker Murata Manufacturing dropped 1.3 percent.

Drug maker Takeda rose 1.4 percent after announcing an improved offer for Shire. Lender Mitsubishi UFJ Financial climbed 2 percent, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial advanced 1.6 percent and insurer Dai-ichi Life Holdings jumped 4 percent. Steelmaker JFE Holdings added 2.2 percent.

Australian shares rose, led by miners and banks as commodity prices advanced and investors brushed off concerns of harsher punishments for corporate wrongdoing.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 17.20 points or 0.3 percent to 5,886.00, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 11.60 points or 0.2 percent at 5,976.

Higher iron ore prices helped lift miners, with BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group all ending up more than 1 percent.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group advanced 0.9 percent after the lender said it would book a loss of A$632 million ($484 million) on the divestment of two of its wealth businesses in its half-year results.

Gold miner Newcrest Mining rallied 2.8 percent after it received government approval to use the first 200m of the Cadia Hill open pit as a tailings facility.

Meanwhile, AMP tumbled 3 percent after law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan said it is considering a possible class action suit against the financial services giant, which has admitted to cheating customers.

iSelect’s shares plunged 55.5 percent after the price comparison website cut its full-year earnings outlook and announced the resignation of chief executive Scott Wilson.

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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