BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets sank Friday after Wall Street declined on losses for tech and industrial stocks and Chinese economic growth slowed.
KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index fell 1.1 percent to 22,411.33 and Seoul’s Kospi shed 0.3 percent to 2,141.06. The Shanghai Composite Index was flat at 2,485.99 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.3 percent to 25,378.50. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.2 percent to 5,929.50 and benchmarks in New Zealand, Taiwan and Southeast Asia also retreated.
WALL STREET: Investors sold technology and internet stocks, industrials, and companies that rely on consumer spending amid worries about economic growth. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index has lost 5.5 percent in volatile trading since Oct. 3. Industrial and basic materials companies that investors worry might be vulnerable to a worsening U.S.-Chinese tariff battle have taken some of the biggest losses. The S&P 500 shed 1.4 percent to 2,768.78. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.3 percent to 25,379.45. The Nasdaq composite sank 2.1 percent to 7,485.14.
CHINA: Growth in the world’s second-biggest economy slowed to 6.5 percent in the quarter ending in September from the previous quarter’s 6.7 percent. The downturn adds to pressure on communist leaders as they fight a mounting tariff battle with Washington. A government spokesman said the economy was stable but “external challenges” and “downward pressure” were increasing. Retail spending and investment, key economic drivers, decelerated to still-robust levels.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “The markets continue to shudder as political turbulence ferments,” said Stephen Innes of OANDA in a report. The Chinese data “offer little solace to risk sentiment,” Innes said. “There are worrying signs beyond the tariff effect that are more concerning,” including weaker factory output, he said.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 11 cents to $68.76 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.10 on Thursday to $68.65. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 28 cents to $79.57 in London. It retreated 76 cents the previous session to $79.29.
CURRENCY: The dollar gained to 112.38 yen from Thursday’s 112.17 yen. The euro advanced to $1.1458 from $1.1453.