Tokyo shares drop on Middle East crisis
Tokyo stocks tracked Wall Street lower Thursday on worries that the battle between Israel and Hamas could spill over into a wider regional conflict.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 1.91 percent, or 611.63 points, to 31,430.62, while the broader Topix index slipped 1.36 percent, or 31.18 points, to 2,264.16.
The dollar stood at 149.72 yen against 149.93 yen in New York late Wednesday.
“A broad range of shares faced selling pressure as investors’ caution strengthened. US yields climbed on the back of the escalation of the Middle East situations,” IwaiCosmo Securities said.
Meanwhile, worries over earnings of semiconductor-related businesses also weighed on sentiment, IwaiCosmo added. A sell-off across other Asian markets discouraged bargain-hunting in Tokyo, the brokerage said.
Global investors will be keeping an eye on Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell’s speech in New York later Thursday, hoping for some clues about the bank’s plans for interest rates.
European share markets extend losses at open
European stock markets dropped further at the start of trading Friday as investors seek investments seen as safer, such as gold, in the face of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index retreated 0.5 percent to 7,463.39 points.
In the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX index shed 1.1 percent to 14,873.79 points and the Paris CAC 40 lost 1.1 percent to 6,843.76.
Hong Kong shares extend losses
Hong Kong stocks sank further at Friday’s open on concerns over the Israel-Hamas crisis and expectations that Federal Reserve interest rates would be kept elevated for the foreseeable future.
The Hang Seng Index lost 0.97 percent, or 168.63 points, to 17,127.26.
The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.33 percent, or 10.04 points, to 2,995.36, while the Shenzhen Composite Index on China’s second exchange fell 0.47 percent, or 8.52 points, to 1,819.57.
Asian shares hit 11-month low
Asian shares plumbed a fresh 11-month trough on Friday as fears of a regional conflict in the Middle East intensified and as a relentless rise in long-term US yields pressured valuations, while supply concerns lifted oil prices further.
The surge in the 10-year US benchmark yield overnight to 5 percent has raised borrowing costs around the world.
On Friday, the Bank of Japan intervened in the Japanese government bond (JGB) market as the 10-year JGB yield touched a decade high.
A much-watched speech overnight from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell led to a choppy market response, although most investors leaned further into bets that the Fed will extend its rate pause in November.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan skidded 0.8 percent to a fresh low since November last year, bringing the weekly loss to a sizeable 3 percent.
Indian shares open lower
India’s blue-chips opened lower on Friday after US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s comments fanned worries over higher-for-longer interest rates, adding to mounting concerns over the Middle East crisis.
The NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.51 percent at 19,525.30 as of 9:15 a.m. IST, and the S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.42 percent to 65,355.50.
Japan’s Nikkei cuts some losses
Japan’s Nikkei share average fell on Friday, tracking Wall Street’s overnight weak finish, but the index gave up some of its losses as investors bought stocks on the dip.
The Nikkei index had fallen 0.52 percent to 31,266.84 by the midday break after opening at 0.85 percent lower. The index is set to lose 3.2 percent for the week.
The broader Topix was down 0.38 percent to 2,255.52 and on course to post a 2.2 percent weekly fall. “The market opened lower but the Nikkei narrowed its losses because investors bought back stocks at declines.
This has been a pattern in the recent market movements,” said Jun Morita, general manager of the research department at Chibagin Asset Management.
US stocks ended lower overnight after US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that additional interest rate hikes could be warranted in view of economic resiliency and labor market tightness.
Investors were prompted to sell Japanese stocks after the yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury note hit the 5 percent mark for the first since July 20, 2007.
Australian shares fall more than 1pc
Australian shares extended losses on Friday, falling more than 1 percent, as Wall Street slid overnight after US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said additional interest rate hikes could be warranted.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 1.4 percent to 6,887.6 by 2350 GMT, with most major sectors trading in negative territory.
The benchmark index was on track for its worst week since Sept. 22.
All three major US stock indexes closed lower as Powell’s remarks appeared to push back against market expectations that the central bank’s rate-hiking cycle had run its course.
On Thursday, data showed Australia’s employment rose less than expected in September, following a blowout result the month before, but the jobless rate still ticked down in a sign the labour market remained drum tight.
Sri Lanka shares end higher
Sri Lankan shares snapped four straight sessions of losses on Thursday, helped by financials and consumer discretionary stocks.
The CSE All Share index settled 0.32 percent higher at 10,590.42 points.
LOLC Finance and C T Holdings were the top boosts to the index, advancing 2.2 percent and 5 percent, respectively.
Trading volume rose to 50.3 million shares from 38.1 million shares in the previous session, according to exchange data.
The equity market’s turnover climbed to 1.13 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($3.48 million) from 822.6 million rupees in the previous session, the data showed.
Foreign investors were net sellers, offloading stocks worth 110.4 million rupees, while domestic investors were net buyers, purchasing shares worth 1.09 billion rupees, the data showed.