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US tech sell-off reverberates in Asian markets

Tuesday 03:10 BST

Overview

Tech stocks in Asia were facing a choppy session after a rough start to the week for their counterparts on Wall Street, while Canada’s dollar climbed on the back of growing expectations that America’s northern neighbour could raise interest rates.

Hot topic

Tech stocks were putting in a mixed performance in Asia following another rough day for the sector on Wall Street, where the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index dropped 0.5 per cent on Monday.

In Australia, the tech segment of the S&P/ASX 200 index was off 0.7 per cent, although the broader benchmark was up 0.6 per cent thanks to gains of more than 1 per cent from both the financials and real estate segments.

Tokyo’s broad Topix index was up 0.2 per cent, and the technology segment of that index was off by the same amount. The tech segment of Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng index was up 0.4 per cent, but this was largely thanks to the heavy weighting of Chinese online tech conglomerate Tencent, which rose 1.4 per cent. The broader Hang Seng was up 0.2 per cent.

Forex

The Australian dollar was making the largest gains against the greenback among major currencies in the region, up 0.2 per cent at $0.7558.

South Korea’s won shed 0.2 per cent against the dollar to Won1,129.15, while Japan’s yen weakened 0.1 per cent to ¥110.03.

Outside of Asia Pacific moves were relatively small with the exception of the Canadian dollar, which was up 0.4 per cent on its US counterpart at C$1.3278 on the back of growing signs that Canada’s central bank could move to raise its key interest rates for the first time in almost seven years.

The pound remained below the $1.27 mark, trading basically flat on the day at $1.2652.

Fixed income

Sovereign bonds were down slightly in the Asia morning session, with Australian bonds worst off. Yield, which moves inversely to price, on the country’s 10-year government bond was up 2 basis points at 2.413 per cent.

Yield on the 10-year Japanese government bond was up 1bp at 0.056 per cent, while that on the equivalent South Korean note was basically flat at 2.185 per cent.

Ten-year US Treasuries saw little move in yield, which was virtually unchanged at 2.213 per cent.

Commodities

Crude oil prices were making mild gains on Tuesday, but remained well below the $50 mark despite tensions in the Middle East over Qatar and Iran.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was up 0.4 per cent at $48.48 a barrel. The American marker, West Texas Intermediate, was up the same amount at $46.25.

Gold was trading flat at $1,265.63 an ounce.

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