Market Overview

Asian shares wobble in volatile trade as China tech selloff weighs

Asian equities bounced between gains and losses on Thursday as a selloff in Chinese technology shares due to concerns they will be de-listed from U.S. bourses and worries about a semiconductor shortage rattled some investors. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.1%. Hong Kong shares fell sharply at the open but then trimmed their losses to a 0.18% decline. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Xiaomi Corp, and Tencent Holdings all traded lower. Shares in China rose 0.08%.

Elsewhere, Japanese stocks rose 0.71% and Australian shares rose 0.24% as bargain hunters bought shares of consumer goods, real estate, and financial firms. U.S. stock futures rose 0.25%. The U.S. securities regulator is rolling out measures that would kick foreign companies off U.S. stock exchanges if they do not comply with U.S. auditing standards and require them to disclose any government affiliations, which is widely expected to target Chinese companies. In addition, concerns about extended economic lockdowns in Europe, disruptions to the distribution of coronavirus vaccinations and potential U.S. tax hikes also weighed on investor sentiment.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.01%, the Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.01%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.55% as optimistic comments by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen failed to ease profit-taking in the tech sector. MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe rose 0.07%. U.S. crude fell 1.45% to $60.29 per barrel, and Brent fell 1.21% to $63.64 a barrel, giving back some of the previous day’s gains made after one of the world’s largest container ships ran aground in the Suez Canal, blocking a vital shipping lane. Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields rose to 1.6330% in Asian trade, supported by positive data on the U.S. manufacturing sector. Investors have focused on the 10-year Treasury yield, pondering if there is room for long-term interest rates to run, said David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.

Asian shares wobble in volatile trade as China tech selloff weighs, Reuters, Mar 25

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