Nikkei sags as yen gains; Apple suppliers fall in Hong Kong, Taiwan
Asian stock markets dropped in early Friday trading, as a global selloff looks set to continue into the end of the week, led by sinking tech stocks.
Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -0.46% fell 0.7% following an overnight rebound in the yen USDJPY, +0.02% . As tech stocks sagged in the U.S., chip-equipment maker Tokyo Electron 8035, -2.53% dropped 3% and was at one-year lows. Electronics, consumer goods and energy stocks led the declines. Financials were higher, though, as U.S. bond yields continued to rise, causing equity-investor concerns but being seen as good for lenders and heavy bond investors. Life insurer T&D 8795, +1.88% was up a further 2% while bank Resona 8308, +2.47% rose about the same. Meanwhile, electronics maker TDK 6762, -4.21% and cosmetics firm Shiseido 4911, -2.64% were down more than 3%.
Hong Kong stocks continued to drop after Thursday’s skid left the Hang Seng Index below the Dow industrials on a closing basis for the first time since April 2013. The benchmark HSI, -0.48% was down 0.8%, with Tencent 0700, -1.43% down 1.6% and at fresh year-plus lows. Insurer AIA 1299, -1.09% was off another 1.7%, putting the week’s swoon at about 10%. But HSBC 0005, +1.10% was up almost 1%. A number of Apple Inc. suppliers, such as AAC Technologies 2018, -2.25% and Sunny Optical 2382, -2.38% , saw their shares sink following a Bloomberg News report that China may have secretly planted spy chips in some servers used by Apple AAPL, -1.76% and Amazon.com Inc AMZN, -2.22% . Both American tech giants strongly denied the report.
Apple suppliers Foxconn 2354, -1.50% and Taiwan Semiconductor 2330, -1.97% fell as well, weighing down Taiwan’s Taiex Y9999, -1.97% .
South Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.35% slipped nearly 1%, as Samsung 005930, +0.11% shed early gains to drop into the red despite forecasting record operating profit in the third quarter.
Australia was again the lone gainer in the region, as the ASX 200 XJO, +0.19% rose slightly. Benchmarks in New Zealand NZ50GR, -0.46% and Singapore STI, -0.94% fell, while Malaysia FBMKLCI, -0.43% was about flat. Markets in mainland China remained closed for a weeklong holiday.