Asian stocks slip, following the withdrawal of Wall Street

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Asian shares slipped on Friday after the withdrawal Wall Street causing the Nasdaq composite to fall by 2.5%.

Tokyo fell nearly 2%, but recovered later in the session. Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul were also lower.

China reports that its global trade surplus increased by almost 30% in 2021 to $ 676.4 billion. The trade surplus rose 20.8 percent in December from a year earlier to a monthly record of $ 94.4 billion, customs data showed on Friday.

Exports rose to $ 3.3 trillion in 2021 despite a shortage of processor chips for smartphones and other products as global demand for the pandemic recovered. Producers were also hampered by energy consumption introduced in some areas.

The Central Bank of South Korea raised its key interest rate from 1% to 1.25% to curb inflation. But as it eliminates monetary incentives as it has doubled the reference interest rate so far, the government announced 14 trillion won ($ 11 billion) in additional spending on Friday, mostly to help small businesses recover from the effects of coronavirus outbreaks.

Inflation rose to 3.7% in December, and the latest rate hike “gives a strong signal that the bank is favoring curbing inflation and financial imbalances,” Alex Holmes of Capital Economics said in a report. “It’s pretty clear that more lifts are inevitable,” he said.

South Korean Kospi fell 1.4% to 2,920.75.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.6% to 3,534.17 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 1% to 24,179.16. The Tokyo Nikkei 225 lost 1.5% to 28,078.98.

In Sydney, the S & P / ASX 200 index fell 0.9% to 7,405.70.

The Indian Sensex was 0.4% lower.

Technology companies led a sell-off on Wall Street on Thursday that pulled major indexes into the red for the week.

The S&P 500 index fell 1.4% to 4,659.03. The Nasdaq technology index fell 2.5% to 14,806.81. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5% to 36,113.62.

Shares of smaller companies also fell. The Russell 2000 index fell 16.62 points, or 0.8%, to 2,159.44.

The sale came when investors measured the company’s profit reports and new data showing a rise in prices at the wholesale level. Inflation has been at the center of investors’ attention as they try to assess how rising prices will affect businesses, consumers and the US Federal Reserve’s 2022 interest rate policy.

“Investors remain concerned that the worst in terms of inflation remains to be seen,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.

The 10-year treasury yield slipped to 1.72% from 1.73% late Wednesday.

The Ministry of Labor reported on Thursday that its producer price index, which measures wholesale prices, rose by a record 9.7% for the whole of 2021. The increase set an annual record and is further evidence that inflation is still always present at all levels of the American economy. The report follows Wednesday’s release of consumer price data for December, which showed that inflation jumped the fastest in nearly 40 years last month.

Many large technology companies with solid revenues and profits, such as Apple and Microsoft, will suffer less than their counterparts, who have low incomes but rosy forecasts, he said.

Nevertheless, even these big tech names lost ground on Thursday. Apple fell 1.9 percent and Microsoft 4.2 percent.

Among the declines were healthcare stocks, communications services companies and a mix of companies that rely on direct consumer spending. Pfizer fell 2%, Facebook’s parent Meta Platforms 2% and Amazon 2.4%.

Industrial companies were among the few acquirers. Delta Air Lines was up 2.1% after reporting surprisingly good financial results in the fourth quarter. Other airlines also received an incentive. American Airlines rose 4.5% and United Airlines 3.5%.

U.S. reference crude fell 33 cents to $ 81.79 a barrel in e-commerce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent oil, the basis for setting international oil prices, lost 15 cents to $ 84.32 a barrel.

The dollar weakened to 113.66 Japanese yen from 114.18 yen. The euro rose from $ 1.1457 to $ 1.1476.

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