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Volatile Wall Street Tech Trade Expected to Drag Asia-Pacific Shares Lower on Opening

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes are expected to open lower on Thursday, following Wall Street’s lead. The benchmark S&P 500 Index fell from its record high in a volatile trade on Wednesday amid a sharp drop in technology shares. The tech-weighted NASDAQ Composite posted a dramatic technical reversal top and the blue chip Dow was higher.

Ahead of the Asia-Pacific opening, key global stock indexes scaled new peaks on Wednesday after upbeat U.S. and European earnings pointed to a strong recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, while the dollar dipped to three-week lows as Treasury yields eased off recent highs.

Wednesday’s Recap

Shares in China led gains in the Asia-Pacific region during Wednesday’s trade as Chinese tech stocks listed in the city jumped. Shares of Chinese tech firms listed in Hong Kong saw a rebound on Wednesday after 12 companies, including Baidu, JD.com and Meituan, signaled compliance with antitrust laws.

That development came just a day after Beijing gave so-called platform companies a month to examine their actions and rectify any anti-competitive practices. Shares of most Chinese tech giants in Hong Kong tumbled on Tuesday amid those regulatory fears.

Australia Shares Hit 13-Month High on Gold, Tech Boost

Australian shares climbed to a 13-month peak on Wednesday, led by gains in gold stocks and technology firms.

Australia’s gold subindex posted its biggest jump since January 4 as bullion prices, a traditional hedge against inflation, rebounded from a more than one-week low. Newcrest, the country’s largest gold miner, added 4.2%.

Resolute Mining soared more than 20%, its biggest surge in more than a year, as a lease for its Bibiani gold mine in Ghana was restored after being terminated last month.

Technology stocks also surged 2.1% on the back of the U.S. consumer price data, tracking overnight gains on the NASDAQ.

Buy now, pay later bellwether and index heavyweight Afterpay jumped as much as 3.6% to its highest gains on the NASDAQ.

Japanese Shares End Lower as Virus Resurgence Hits Risk Appetite

Japanese shares ended lower on Wednesday, weighed down by cyclicals, as a resurgence in COVID-19 cases cast doubts over prospects of economic rebound, while falling interest rates dragged on banking and insurer stocks.

“The expectations for the reopening of the economy shrank because rollouts of vaccines in Japan is much slower than other countries, while the number of new COVID-19 cases is on the rise,” said Shoichi Arisawa, general manager of the investment research department at IwaiCosmo Securities.

“The interest rates could fall if the economy slows down. That has sent bank and insurer shares lower on Wednesday.”

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.


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