Japan’s Nikkei falls 2%; Chinese tech stocks in Hong Kong 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.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 2.05% to close at 25,162.78, shedding some of its nearly 4% gain on Thursday. Shares of conglomerate SoftBank Group dropped 6.21%. The Topix index slipped 1.67% to 1,799.54.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, which earlier fell more than 3%, partially recovered but still closed 1.61% lower at 20,553.79. Chinese tech stocks listed in the city declined: Tencent dropped 4.47%, Alibaba slipped 5.52% and Meituan plunged 6.1%. The Hang Seng Tech index fell 4.28% to 4,246.97.

The Shanghai composite in mainland China closed 0.41% higher at 3,309.75 while the Shenzhen component climbed 0.618% to 12,447.37. Both indexes had fallen more than 2% during the session before recovering.

In South Korea, the Kospi dipped 0.71% on the day to 2,661.28. Australia’s S & P / ASX 200 slipped 0.94% to finish its trading day at 7,063.60.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.28%.

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 higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 2.3% to $ 111.85 per barrel. US crude futures advanced 1.91% to $ 108.04 per barrel.

Currencies

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 98,573 after a recent bounce from around 97.8.

The Japanese yen traded at 116.71 per dollar, still weaker than levels below 115.5 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $ 0.7347 after touching an earlier high of $ 0.7367.

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