Asian stocks fall as tech stocks drag benchmarks lower

BANGKOK – Asian equities were mostly lower on Tuesday as losses in technology-related stocks weighed on global benchmarks.

Taiwan fell 4.4% after reopening from a holiday in the first trading session since the US launched new export restrictions of semiconductors and chip-making equipment to China. TMSC, the world’s largest chipmaker, plunged 8.3%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 2.6% to 26,401.25. South Korea’s Kospi slipped 1.8% to 2,192.07. Both markets reopened on Monday after the bank holidays.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 2.2% to 16,830.73.

The Shanghai Composite was up 0.2% to 2,979.79, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.3% to 6,645.00.

“The Japanese and South Korean markets are catching up on earlier global market losses, with their exposure to the technology sector spurring a larger scale sell-off, reflected on Wall Street,” Yeap Jun Rong, a market strategist at IG in Singapore, said in a report.

In encouraging news, Japan reopened to generally unrestricted tourism on Tuesday after more than two years of COVID-19 restrictions. The pent-up travel spending could help boost the world’s third-largest economy as it struggles with slowing global growth and inflation.

However, technology stocks were hurt by the announcement of tighter export controls on semiconductors and chip manufacturing facilities. The restrictions aim to limit China’s ability to obtain advanced computer chips, develop and maintain supercomputers, and manufacture advanced semiconductors.

In China, technology stocks were hit by renewed selling after sharp losses on Monday. Chip equipment maker Naura Technology lost 10% and Hwatsing Technology lost 12.2%.

Japan’s Sony Group lost 4.1% while Renasas lost 5.7%.

On Wall Street, Qualcomm Inc. lost 5.2% and Broadcom Inc. 5% on Monday. Applied Materials lost 4.1% while Lam Research Corp. decreased by 6.4%.

The benchmark S&P 500 fell 0.7% to close at 3,612.39, extending its losing streak into a fourth day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.3% to 29,202.88 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1% to 10,542.10. The Russell 2000 fell 0.6% to 1,691.92.

Trading in US bonds was closed.

Wall Street was racked by worries about stubbornly hot inflation and the Federal Reserve’s plan to rein in high prices by raising interest rates. The goal is to slow economic growth and cut both borrowing and spending to get inflation under control, but the plan Danger of plunging the economy into recession.

Investors may get a more detailed picture of the Fed’s thinking on Wednesday when the central bank releases minutes from its latest monetary policy meeting. At that point, the Fed made another extra-large rate hike of three-quarters of a percentage point.

The closely watched consumer prices report is due on Thursday and a retail sales report is due on Friday.

This week also brings the latest round of corporate earnings reports that might provide a clearer picture how high prices will affect sales and profits and what to expect for the rest of the year and even into 2023.

In energy trading, the US crude index fell $1.23 to $89.90 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. US crude oil fell 1.6% on Monday. Brent crude, the international price standard, fell $1.09 to $95.10 a barrel.

In forex trading, the US dollar slipped from 145.75 yen to 145.63 Japanese yen. The euro cost 96.97 cents after 97.04 cents.


Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter

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Sarah Y. Kim

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