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US tech woes bring Asian equities down

Almost all of the Asian markets fell on Friday after the US Tech stocks were badly hit on the Wall Street especially following the sharp fall in Apple.

While geopolitical worries in the Syrian region and fears of potential trade war between the US and China keep investors on the edge, the primary focus has now moved on to the corporate arena as first quarter results season begins at major indices.

All three indices on the Wall Street fell on Thursday after results showed mixed performance especially the lackluster results from Procter & Gamble with rising US Treasury yields spooked investors of rising rates.

But major hit to the index came from US giant Apple, which was down 3 percent. The plunge came as a result of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) forecast number for sales during the current quarter would be about $1 billion down from analyst forecasts.

The drop in sales fueled concerns for the investors who see this as a hit on the smartphone sector, keeping in view that TSMC, a massive driver of revenue for tech firms – including Apple and Samsung – was beginning to wane. The tech-rich NASDAQ lost 0.8 percent in New York.

Asia suppliers listed on the Asian exchanges also fell. In Taipei, TSMC plunged almost six percent and Foxconn lost one percent. Alps Technology shed 1.6 percent in Tokyo, while Seoul-listed LG Display was off 0.6 percent.

Pound extends losses

On broader markets, Taipei was off 1.4 percent, Hong Kong fell 0.2 percent and Seoul was 0.3 percent lower, while Shanghai dipped 0.7 percent. Singapore shed 0.2 percent and Sydney was 0.1 percent off.

However, Tokyo ended the morning 0.1 percent higher.

Manila was up 1.3 percent, recovering most of Thursday's steep losses, though the index is down 10 percent so far this year on worries about inflation, a weak currency and fears the central bank may need to lift interest rates sharply.

Energy firms dipped slightly after Thursday's oil-fueled surge after reports said OPEC officials meeting in Saudi Arabia suggested supplies looked like they were coming into line with demand. That led to worries about an OPEC-Russia output cap deal that has supported prices in recent years.

Energy stocks around the globe fell slightly after reports said OPEC officials meeting in Saudi Arabia suggested supplies looked like they were coming into line with demand. However, crude remains at more than three-year highs, supported by continued Middle East tensions and signed of healthy US demand.

Key figures

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.1 percent at 22,222.13 (break)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 0.2 percent at 30,652.11

Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.7 percent at 3,095.11

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.2346 from $1.2344 at 2100 GMT

Dollar/yen: UP at 107.45 yen from 107.37

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.4077 from $1.4082

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN nine cents at $68.20 per barrel

Oil – Brent North Sea: DOWN six cents at $73.72 per barrel

New York – Dow: DOWN 0.3 percent at 24,664.89 (close)

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.2 percent at 7,328.92 (close)

Posted on: 2018-04-20T10:24:00+05:00
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