Asian Markets Tumble after Tech Stocks Crash in US

July 30, 2018

By Investors Hub

Asian markets closed mostly lower on Monday after technology stocks led a slide in U.S. stocks on Friday. The dollar held steady against its peers, while oil traded mixed after the release of U.S. GDP data and amid renewed concerns around the U.S.-China trade war.

Investor focus shifted to key central bank meetings this week. The Bank of Japan began a two-day policy meeting today, with analysts expecting the central bank to discuss reducing investments in ETFs tracking the Nikkei 225 Index.

The Federal Open Market Committee is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged when it meets on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Chinese stocks fell, dragged down by healthcare stocks after Changchun Changsheng Bio-technology became the latest pharmaceutical company to be embroiled in a vaccine scandal.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dipped 4.54 points or 0.2 percent to 2,869.05, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 71.15 points or 0.3 percent to 28,733.13.

Japanese shares slid as investors awaited cues from the BoJ meeting and the next batch of corporate earnings. The Nikkei 225 Index gave up 167.91 points or 0.7 percent to finish at 22,544.84, while the broader Topix Index closed 0.4 percent lower at 1,768.15.

Japan Steel Works, Daiichi Sankyo, Komatsu, Hitachi Construction Machinery and Eisai slumped 2-5 percent. Kansai Electric Power tumbled 3.6 percent after posting disappointing earnings for the April-June quarter.

Banks bucked the weak trend to close mostly higher on expectations that they will benefit from possible BoJ policy tweaks. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group rallied around 1.6 percent, while Mizuho Financial added 1.3 percent.

Australian shares ended lower after weak earnings reports from major technology companies weighed on Wall Street on Friday. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 21.80 points or 0.4 percent to 6,278.40, while the broader All Ordinaries Index dropped 0.36 percent to finish at 6,368.80.

The big four banks fell between 0.3 percent and 0.6 percent. BHP Billiton shed 0.6 percent after climbing over 2 percent on Friday on news of its U.S. shale assets sale to BP. Rival Rio Tinto and South32 ended down over 1 percent each.

Healthscope declined 0.9 percent after it has agreed to sell its Asian pathology business to private equity firm TPG Capital for A$279 million.

On the other hand, wealth manager AMP jumped 4.2 percent after suffering heavy losses on Friday when it issued a profit warning. Telecom firm Telstra advanced 1.8 percent after announcing management changes.

Modupe Gbadeyanka

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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