Asian Shares Decline On Growth Worries
Asian stocks declined on Thursday as data showed the region’s factory hubs saw further easing in demand in August. Hawkish comments from another Federal Reserve official on inflation and the pace of future interest rate hikes also weighed on sentiment.
The dollar rose to a fresh 24-year high against the yen, while oil extended losses on concerns over the ailing state of the global economy.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.5 percent to 3,184.98 after a private survey showed the country’s manufacturing sector slipped into contraction for the first time in three months in August amid weakening demand. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index plunged 1.8 percent to 19,597.31.
Japanese shares tumbled to hit a one-month low after a survey showed the country’s manufacturing activity grew at the weakest rate in nearly a year in August.
The Nikkei 225 Index tumbled 1.5 percent to 27,661.47, while the broader Topix ended 1.4 percent lower at 1,935.49.
Chip giants Tokyo Electron, Screen Holdings and Advantest lost 3-4 percent after reports that the U.S. has begun to impose fresh restrictions on exports of advanced chips necessary for AI-related applications to Russia and China.
Uniqlo clothing store owner Fast Retailing gave up 1.5 percent and technology investor SoftBank Group shed 0.9 percent.
Nippon Steel gained 1.3 percent after reports that Toyota Motor has agreed to raise the price of steel materials used for cars. Toyota shares gave up 2.3 percent.
Seoul stocks tumbled and the Korean won hit a 13-year low against the dollar after data showed the country’s export growth slowed in August. The Kospi dove 2.3 percent to 2,415.61, dragged down by tech and bio shares. Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix, Samsung SDI plunged 2-4 percent.
Australian markets closed lower, led by losses in the technology, materials and energy sectors. Growth worries resurfaced after data showed activity across Australia’s manufacturing sector cooled in August.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index slumped 2 percent to 6,845.60, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended 2 percent lower at 7,079.90. Mining giant BHP Group sank 7.6 percent on going ex-dividend.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark NZX-50 Index finished marginally higher at 11,609.82. Heavyweight Fisher & Paykel Healthcare advanced 1.5 percent after announcing plans to spend $275 million on a 105-hectare site in South Auckland.
U.S. stocks came under pressure for the fourth straight session overnight, as the ADP private payrolls report suggested a shift toward a more conservative pace of hiring in August and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said policy makers should raise rates beyond 4 percent and deliver no rate cuts in 2023.
The Dow gave up 0.9 percent, the S&P 500 slid 0.8 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq declined 0.6 percent.
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