TOKYO — Asian shares fell Thursday after deepening worries about global economic growth, particularly in China, set off a rout on Wall Street.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.1 per cent to 22,192.04 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.7 per cent to 27,144.46. The Shanghai Composite index sank 0.6 per cent to 2,706.01. South Korea’s Kospi reopened from a holiday and tumbled 0.8 per cent to 2,240.80. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 edged 0.1 per cent lower to 6,323.20. Shares fell in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.
WALL STREET’S SLIDE: Large technology companies such as Alibaba and Baidu of China and U.S. tech giants including Facebook and Microsoft fell. The S&P 500 declined 0.8 per cent to 2,818.37. Earlier it lost as much as 1.3 per cent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.5 per cent to 25,162.41. The Nasdaq composite dropped 1.2 per cent to 7,774.12. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks sank 1.3 per cent to 1,670.67.
TENCENT SURPRISE: An unexpected drop in profits for Chinese tech giant Tencent rattled investors, adding to recent concerns about the health of China’s economy. Tencent, a gaming and messaging company, is the most valuable technology company in China. Jefferies & Co. analyst Karen Chan said Tencent’s revenue was also disappointing, mostly because of weak results from its mobile gaming business. Tencent’s stock fell 3.2 per cent in Hong Kong.
CHINA FACTOR: Earlier this week, reports on growth in factory output, consumer spending and retail sales in China were all slower than expected. But there was encouraging news in Beijing’s announcement that it is sending a trade envoy to Washington, renewing efforts to resolve the worsening tariff dispute with the Trump administration.
ANALYST’S VIEWPOINT: Emerging market shares are taking a pinch from weak commodities prices, Mizuho Bank said in a commentary. Apart from that, “China’s moderating growth also adds further concern given that its potential weaker import demand could ripple through the supply chain and hit export-oriented economies.”
TURKEY’S TROUBLES: Turkey’s currency fell 2.9 per cent to 5.79 to the U.S. dollar. The country has imposed $500 million in tariffs on U.S. goods as tensions between the countries increase. There is also no sign that Turkey’s president will let the central bank raise interest rates, which economists say it should do urgently to support the currency.
ENERGY: U.S. crude stabilized, adding 14 cents to $65.15 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It sagged 3 per cent to $65.01 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, picked up 40 cents to $71.16 per barrel. It had lost 2.3 per cent to $70.76 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 110.82 yen from 110.72 yen. The euro rose to $1.1378 from $1.1346.