Nikkei drops about 4% as Asian markets follow Wall Street’s plunge

Nikkei drops about 4% as Asian markets follow Wall Street’s plunge

Markets in China, Hong Kong off more than 3%; Taiwan hammered

Asian stocks plummeted in early trading Thursday following the skid on Wall Street.

Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -3.89% fell about 4% as stocks got added pressure from the yen’s overnight bounce. The dollar was just above ¥112, versus ¥112.36 in late New York trade and ¥113 Wednesday morning. Through Wednesday, the dollar had fallen five straight days versus the yen USDJPY, +0.02% and logged the biggest week-long drop since February, at 2%. And with a late drop in Treasury yields during U.S. trade, 10-year JGB yields were down a basis point at 0.14% and 30-years were down two basis points at 0.92%. Losses were widespread across all sectors, with SoftBank Group 9984, -5.83% and robotics company Fanuc 6954, -6.84% down around 7%, while export-reliant companies such as Toyota 7203, -2.41% , Nintendo 7974, -3.13% and Sony 6758, -4.28% posted steep losses as well.

Chinese stocks were down more than 3%, putting mainland indexes at fresh multiyear lows, extending the woes which have made Chinese equities among the world’s worst performers this year. The Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, -5.22% is now down 20% for 2018.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng HSI, -3.60% slid more than 3%, a day after snapping a six-session losing streak, and was on pace to close at a new 15-month low. Tech stocks took a beating, with Sunny Optical 2382, -6.58% , AAC Technologies 2018, -7.22% and Tencent 0700, -6.84% falling more than 5%. Automaker Geely 0175, -6.10% , casino operator Galaxy Entertainment 0027, -4.45% and oil company CNOOC 0883, -4.18% also plunged.

Taiwan stocks fared even worse, with the Taiex Y9999, -6.31% down 5.7%, putting it at its lowest levels since May 2017. Heavyweights were down across the board with tech stocks hurting the most, as lens maker Largan 3008, -9.89% fell 9% and capacitor maker Yageo 2327, -8.38% sank almost 7%.

Australia’s ASX 200 XJO, -2.74% dropped to levels last seen in late April and New Zealand’s NZX 50 NZ50GR, -3.64% is set to log its first nine-day losing streak since July 2011. Korea’s Kospi SEU, -4.44% was off 2.8%, with Samsung 005930, -4.86% down more than 2%. Singapore’s stock benchmark STI, -2.59% skidded to 20-month lows while Malaysia’s benchmark FBMKLCI, -1.76% hit three-month lows

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