Asian Stocks Fall to Start Week, Following Wall Street Losses

A man looks at an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Asian markets fell Monday after a steep decline in the U.S. technology sector weighed on Wall Street at the end of the week despite data showing the economy was growing.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.8 percent to 22,536.81 and South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.2 percent lower to 2,291.09. The Shanghai Composite index slipped 0.5 percent to 2,859.99 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 0.8 percent to 28,560.95. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 gave up 0.4 percent to 6,273.20. Shares gained in Indonesia but were lower in Taiwan and Singapore.

Technology stocks led a slide in U.S. stocks on Friday, adding to the market’s losses from another tech-driven sell-off a day earlier. The S&P 500 index slid 0.7 percent to 2,818.82. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.3 percent to 25,451.06. The Nasdaq composite index, which is heavily weighted with technology companies, tumbled 1.5 percent to 7,737.42. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks dipped 1.9 percent to 1,663.34.

“Asian equity markets as it is have seen a soft start this morning, taking after last Friday’s US markets’ tone. In addition, risk aversion is likely to have set in for markets at the fore of a string of event risks this week that would keep investors occupied,” such as eurozone and U.S. economic indicators, Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 24 cents to $68.93 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 92 cents to settle at $68.69 per barrel on Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 11 cents to $74.87.

The dollar increased to 111.04 yen from 111.00 yen on Friday. The euro rose to $1.1661 from $1.1656.

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