Asia stocks fall sharply after Wall Street losses

Marcus Newton
October 29, 2018

Totally, for the week, S&P 500 fell by around 4%, while the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped by around 3.8% and the Dow Jones dropped by 3%. The average was briefly down more than 500 points.

The tech-heavy index closed up 3%-its biggest one-day gain since March 26-coming off a 4.4% slide that marked its worst session since August 2011.

All of the 11 major S&P sectors were in the red, with the communication services taking the steepest hit with a 2.06 percent fall and technology stocks down 1.48 percent. The spiral has already erased this year's record gains on U.S. markets. But Asian markets took big losses, as the USA market did the day before.

Disappointing quarterly results and outlooks continued to weigh on the market, stoking investors' jitters over future growth in corporate profits.

Traders are anxious that rising interest rates and the escalating U.S.

Top of the list is the United States trade war with China.

The weak results from Amazon and Google parent Alphabet were the latest setback for the high-growth quartet of stocks known as FANG, which also includes Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Netflix Inc (NFLX.O). The Chinese yuan fell to 6.9641 against the greenback, flirting with its weakest point in almost a decade. "Our forecast is therefore for the S&P 500 to drop by a total of about 15 percent from its recent peak". That's higher than what many economists had been projecting and followed an even stronger 4.2 percent rate of growth in the second quarter. When the Commerce Department report on third-quarter growth comes out Friday, it's expected to show another solid pickup of 3.3 percent.

The Nasdaq registered its biggest daily percentage gain since March 26. The Nasdaq composite gave up 9 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,427.

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Recent volatility in US markets has weighed on Asian markets for some time, despite relatively strong growth in the region.

Oil was flat overnight, while copper prices fell and iron ore rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.08 percent from 3.13 percent late Thursday.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 0.7 per cent to $66.88 a barrel in NY. National Oilwell Varco lost 7.8 percent to $34.12.

After the closing bell, Microsoft rose 2.7 percent following the release of its results.

HIGH FLYER: Boeing rose 2.3 percent to $358.03 after the defense contractor's latest quarterly results topped analysts' forecasts.

The dollar weakened to 112.44 yen from 112.47 yen on Tuesday. Gold, another safehaven, jumped to its highest level since July - at around $1,234 per ounce.

The Commerce Department said sales of new USA homes plunged 5.5 percent in September, the fourth monthly drop. Britain's FTSE 100 slid 0.9 percent. Also in Hong Kong, airline Cathay Pacific's shares dropped as much as 6.5 per cent but ended 3.8 per cent lower after it said it had discovered a data breach affecting 9.4 million passengers.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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