Australian stocks led the losses in the Asia Pacific, tumbling over 3 percent as the region’s major stock markets plunged on Friday, following a massive tech-led sell-off on Wall Street.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 1.11 percent down, and the Topix index declined nearly 1 percent, in line with the losses of other benchmark indices elsewhere in Asia. Overall, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell around 1 percent.
In China, the Shanghai composite shed nearly 1 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and South Korea’s Kospi tumbled around 1.5 percent.
European markets bucked the trend at the start of trade on Friday, with stock markets in France, Germany, and Britain up around half a percent.
The decline in Asia came mainly in tech stocks, but the sell-off in Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong was not as dramatic as the one on Wall Street. US shares recorded their worst day since June, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling by over 800 points, or 2.8 percent. It was the biggest one-day decline since June 11. The S&P 500 dropped 3.5 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq plunged 5 percent, with all tech stocks taking a beating.
Some analysts say the latest drop is merely a correction after a massive tech rally during the coronavirus pandemic. Even with Thursday’s losses, Apple is still up nearly 65 percent for the year, Amazon shares are up over 80 percent, while Tesla stock has gained around 400 percent.
US stocks were mixed in the pre-market trading on Friday, with the Nasdaq still in negative territory. Investors are waiting for the key August jobs data, which is expected to be released later in the day.
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