Asian markets mostly down after fresh Wall St sell-off

In early trade Hong Kong fell 0.3 percent after fluctuating between gains and losses, while Tokyo ended the morning 0.1 percent off and Shanghai lost more than one percent. (Reuters file photo)

Asian stocks mostly fell Monday, extending last week's rout as investors remain on edge following another hammering for Wall Street.

Even a forecast-busting jump in US economic growth in the third quarter was not enough to prevent all three main indexes in New York from tanking, with the Dow and S&P 500 falling into negative territory for the year.

The US losses came after disappointing earnings reports from titans Alphabet and Amazon, which compounded concerns about rising interest rates and the China-US trade war that shows no sign of abating.

"Fears of an economic slowdown in the US proved to be premature, but investors worry that the boost from (Donald) Trump tax cuts is evaporating," said Alfonso Esparza, senior market analyst at OANDA.

"Stocks have been vulnerable as the US Federal Reserve stands firm on its plans to hike one more time this year and three or four in 2019 on its path to rate normalisation. US-China relations have not improved and earning reports have started to reflect the impact of tariffs on China."

In early trade, Hong Kong fell 0.3 percent after fluctuating between gains and losses, while Tokyo ended the morning 0.1 percent off and Shanghai lost more than one percent. Seoul shed 0.4 percent.

But Sydney climbed 1.1 percent, Singapore added 0.5 percent, Wellington put on 0.2 percent and Jakarta was flat.

Attention now turns to the release later this week of US jobs data for a fresh glimpse at the world's top economy.

The dollar was mostly up against higher-yielding and emerging market currencies including the Mexican peso, Australian dollar, the Indonesian rupiah and Thai baht.

It was also up against the yuan, with weak industrial profits data and speculation of fresh monetary easing putting downward pressure on the Chinese unit, which is sitting close to a 10-year low.

However, reports said Beijing was keeping an eye on the currency market and was ready to support the yuan and prevent it from falling past 7 to the dollar.

There is speculation that authorities are allowing the unit to weaken to offset the effects of US tariffs, though Washington has held off labelling China a currency manipulator.

 

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.1 percent at 21,165.30 (break)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.3 percent at 24,654.76

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 1.5 percent at 2,559.50

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1389 from $1.1400 at 2100 GMT Friday

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2830 from $1.2800

Dollar/yen: UP at 111.85 from 111.83 yen

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP 23 cents at $67.82 per barrel

Oil - Brent Crude: UP 28 cents at $77.90 per barrel

New York - Dow: DOWN 1.2 percent at 24,688.31 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 1.4 percent at 6,906.09 (close)

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Asian markets mostly down after fresh Wall St sell-off

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