Asia markets tumble; Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong drop more than 2% as tech stocks fall

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SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia tumbled on Monday, as major markets in the region saw sharp losses of more than 2% amid a tech sell-off.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan dropped 2.8%, and shares of conglomerate SoftBank Group fell more than 4%. The Topix index was lower by 2.17%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also shed 2.46%. Tencent shares fell 2.67% while Alibaba dropped 4.5%, the Hang Seng Tech index traded 2.67% lower.

South Korea’s Kospi fell 2.75%, led by tech shares like Samsung Electronics which declined 2.19% while Kakao dipped 3.87%.

In Taiwan, the Taiex fell 2.4% and TSMC’s stock slipped 2.45%.

The implication that US inflation has not peaked; and that it seems to playing peek(peak)-a-boo; directly puts the US Fed in a bigger bind, committed to larger magnitude of rate hikes possibly for a longer period.

Lavanya Venkateswaran

Market Economist, Mizuho Bank

The Shanghai Composite in mainland China declined about 0.5%, while the Shenzhen Component was flat.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded close to 2% lower.

The losses in Asia came as U.S. Treasury yields rose in the morning of Asia trading hours. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield climbed to 3.195% while the yield on the 2-year Treasury surged to 3.181%.

Markets in Australia are closed on Monday for a holiday.

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Later this week, a slew of Chinese economic data including industrial production and retail sales for May will be out on Wednesday.

The U.S. Fed is also expected to announce its interest rate decision later this week. It comes after Friday’s hotter-than-expected U.S. inflation numbers for May.

“For markets, the implication that US inflation has not peaked; and that it seems to playing peek(peak)-a-boo; directly puts the US Fed in a bigger bind, committed to larger magnitude of rate hikes possibly for a longer period,” Lavanya Venkateswaran, an economist at Mizuho Bank, wrote in a Monday note.

“Importantly, it is also still not clear when it will due to numerous factors, including Ukraine-Russia tensions and China digging its heel into a ‘zero covid’ policy, which will continue to put upside pressure on food and energy prices while keeping supply chains constrained.”

Dollar-yen approaches 135

The Japanese yen traded at 134.81 per dollar, just off the 135 level after weakening from levels below 132 against the greenback last week.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 104.501 after recently crossing the 104 level.

The Australian dollar was at $0.7007 after dropping from above $0.72 last week.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 1.84% to $119.77 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 1.84% to $118.44 per barrel.



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