Hong Kong leading losses in Asia as tech stocks drag down most markets

SINGAPORE — Most Asia-Pacific markets fell on Tuesday after heavy losses overnight on Wall Street that saw the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropping more than 4%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, which returned to trade after a holiday on Monday, fell 2.73% in morning trade on Tuesday.

Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese tech firms dropped, with Tencent declining 3.21% while Alibaba shed 5.76% and NetEase fell 3.75%. The Hang Seng Tech index traded 4.37% lower.

Technology shares elsewhere in Asia-Pacific also declined in Tuesday trade, largely mirroring losses after the Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.29% overnight to 11,623.25.

Shares of Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group fell 3.25%. South Korea’s Kakao lost 0.83% while Krafton dropped 2.78%.

In the broader markets, the Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 0.93% while the Topix index slipped 0.94%.

South Korea’s Kospi dropped 1.1% while the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia fell 1.46%.

Mainland Chinese stocks bucked the broader trend, and outperformed the broader region. The Shanghai Composite recovering from earlier losses to rise 0.33% while the Shenzhen Component climbed 0.602%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 1.4% lower.

“A sea of red engulfed most major risk assets overnight,” analysts at OCBC Treasury Research said in a Tuesday note. “Asian markets may start off on a cautious note today, following the battering on Wall Street last night.”

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Other major indexes on Wall Street also saw substantial losses overnight, with the S&P 500 slipping 3.2% to 3,991.24 — falling below the 4,000 level for the first time in more than a year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 653.67 points, or 1.99%, to 32,245.70.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 103.607 — off levels above 103.8 seen recently.

The Japanese yen traded at 130.37 per dollar, stronger than levels above 130.5 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.6962, struggling to recover after last week’s drop from above $0.72.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures slipping 1.8% to $104.03 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 1.75% to $101.29 per barrel.

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