Hong Kong Hang Seng falls as Chinese tech stocks drop

SINGAPORE – Shares in Asia-Pacific slipped in Friday trade, tracking overnight losses on Wall Street as Russia-Ukraine war continues to keep investors cautious.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led losses regionally, falling 3.76% as Chinese tech stocks listed in the city declined: Tencent dropped 6.23%, Alibaba slipped 7.96% and Meituan plunged 11.37%. The Hang Seng Tech index plummeted 8.57%.

The Shanghai composite in mainland China dropped about 2% while the Shenzhen component shed 2.45%.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 2.44%, shedding some of its nearly 4% gain on Thursday. The Topix index slipped 1.99%.

In South Korea, the Kospi dipped 1.07%. Australia’s S & P / ASX 200 shed 0.97%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 2.07% lower.

Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 slipped 0.43% to 4,259.52 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 112.18 points to 33,174.07. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.95% to 13,129.96.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Thursday that America is set for another year of “very uncomfortably high” inflation amid the Russia-Ukraine war. Talks between Russia and Ukraine’s foreign ministers in Turkey on Thursday ended in failure.

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Yellen’s remarks came as the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has led to a surge in commodity prices. Data released Thursday also showed US consumer inflation soaring in February, with the consumer price index for that month rising 7.9% as compared to a year ago, the highest level since Jan. 1982.

Oil prices were mixed in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.25% to $ 109.06 per barrel. US crude futures advanced 0.19% to $ 106.22 per barrel.

Currencies

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 98.509 after a recent bounce from around 97.8.

The Japanese yen traded at 116.29 per dollar, still weaker than levels below 115.5 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $ 0.7336 after its rise from levels below $ 0.732 yesterday.

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