Global Market News

Asian Stock Markets Lower on Tech Weakness; Tokyo, Taiwan Gain


Last updated: 02/22/2021 05:27:43

05:27 AM EST, 02/22/2021 (MT Newswires) -- Asian stock markets generally fell back Monday, as traders eyed the People's Bank of China and rising global interest rates, and a richly priced tech sector. Tokyo rose, but Hong Kong and Shanghai retreated, with the Hang Seng TECH Index plummeting, down 5.5% on the day. The broad gauge Sensex index in Mumbai declined 2.3%, after recently posting record highs.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 opened higher, wobbled but held on to finish up 0.45%, as investors bought into industrial issues that had become cheaper due to the pandemic. For example, Yokohoma Rubber (YORUF, 5101:Tokyo) led gainers, up 8.9%, but still trading at under 12 times earnings, considered a relatively modest multiple in prevailing markets, said analysts. Also, the yen lost ground against the US dollar, regarded as a positive in export-oriented Japan. Wall Street futures flashing red were shrugged off.

The Nikkei 225 rose 138.11 to 30,156.03, as gaining issues outnumbered losers 163 to 56.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange REIT Index rose 0.6% on the day.

In other news, industrial giants General Electric (GE) and Toshiba (TOSBF, 3500;Tokyo) may partner to produce core-machinery for power-producing wind turbines, reported the Nikkei Asian Review. Japan's national government plans to increase capacity of offshore wind farms from 20,000 kWh presently to 45 million kWh by 2040, to roughly the equal of electricity generated by the 30 nuclear power-plants in the country.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index opened higher but slumped in trading, finishing down 1.1% as traders sold off high-flying tech issues and warily eyed a possible tightening of monetary-policy by the People's Bank of China, Beijing's central bank.

The Hang Seng TECH Index retreated 5.5%, as market denizens pulled back from a sector that has nearly doubled in the last 52 weeks.

The broad gauge Hang Seng fell 324.90 to 30,319.83, although gaining issues outnumbered losers 27 to 23, as the downdraft was largely limited to the tech sector.

On the mainland the Shanghai Composite declined 1.5% to 3,642.44.

On the other exchanges, the S. Korean Kospi fell 0.9%; the Taiwan TWSE inclined 0.4%; the Australian ASX 200 declined 0.2%; the Singapore Straits Times Index was flat, and the Thai Set declined 1.5%.
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