FINANCE

Wall Street Tech sells off Asia Equity


A slide on Wall Street spread across Asia on Tuesday morning due to losses from big tech companies, dragging Hong Kong’s technology index to a six-week low and hitting equities across the region.

In the U.S. overnight, S&P fell 1.3 percent to its lowest closing price since the end of July, dragging down several major tech companies, including Apple, Microsoft and Amazon. Facebook was among the five worst employees in the index, down 4.9 percent as its main services shut down.

Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index fell as much as 1.5 percent in early trading on Tuesday, returning to flat trade around noon. The Hang Seng Tech Index, which tracks the largest technology groups listed in the city, fell to its lowest level since August 20, 2.5 percent, when it reached a 10-month low.

The fall in U.S. equities after equities-affected developer closed trading on its shares on Monday, with concerns over China Evergrand’s financial health, pushed equities across Asia to their lowest level in recent months.

Japan’s Topix Fumio Kishida lost 2.3 percent in morning trading on Monday after being appointed prime minister. South Korea’s Kospi fell 2.6 percent at the end of Friday last week, pushing the index to its lowest level since March.

Australia’s S&P / ASX 200 fell nearly two per cent, beating the regional trend of losses in the previous two trading sessions.

Frustration over technology stocks has grown in U.S. stock markets in recent weeks in anticipation that the Federal Reserve will begin to return to its stimulus support. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite was down 7.5 percent from a record last month after falling 2.1 percent on Monday.

Shares of Facebook were particularly severely damaged as investors awaited the testimony of a whistleblower at a Senate hearing on Tuesday who complained that the social media company had downplayed misinformation and harmful mental health effects on its platform.

Oil prices in Asian trade rose further on Monday after reaching a seven-year high on Monday due to resistance from OPEC and its allies to accelerate production growth despite a growing global energy shortage. International benchmarks Brent and West Texas Intermediate, which mark U.S. oil, rose slightly, while crude futures in Tokyo rose 2 percent to a three-year high.

The mainland market in China was closed for the National Week holiday.

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