AP – Shares were mostly lower in Asia yesterday after a mixed session on Wall Street, where tech sector losses offset gains in other parts of the market.
Tokyo’s benchmark slipped as the government was preparing about a massive stimulus spending package to help the world’s number three economy cope with inflation. As expected, the Bank of Japan wrapped up a policy meeting by keeping its ultra-lax monetary policy unchanged even as it forecast higher inflation.
The Nikkei 225 index lost 0.9 per cent to 27,105.20 while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong sank 3.2 per cent to 14,934.69. The Shanghai Composite index shed 0.9 per cent to 2,938.77.
The Kospi in Seoul declined 0.8 per cent to 2,269.80. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.9 per cent to 6,785.70.
The economic stimulus package due for approval yesterday includes government funding of about JPY29 trillion (USD200 billion) in subsidies and other measures to help soften the burden of costs from rising utility rates and food prices. It is also designed to help shore up support for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, whose popularity has taken a beating due to a scandal over ties between the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the South Korea-based Unification church.
Thursday on Wall Street, the S&P 500 fell 0.6 per cent, with about 44 per cent of stocks within the benchmark index losing ground. It closed at 3,807.30.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 1.6 per cent to 10,792.67, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6 per cent to 32,033.28.
Smaller company stocks held up better than the broader market. The Russell 2000 index added 0.1 per cent to 1,806.32.
Facebook’s parent company, Meta Platforms, plummeted 24.6 per cent for the biggest drop in the S&P 500 after reporting a second straight quarter of revenue decline amid falling advertising sales and stiff competition from TikTok.
It joined other tech and communications stocks, such as Google’s parent company, Alphabet, and Microsoft, in reporting weak results and worrisome forecasts over advertising demand. Alphabet fell 2.9 per cent and Microsoft slid two per cent.