Asian Stocks Follow Wall Street Lower

Asian stocks fell sharply on Friday as investors assessed the policy impacts of the Fed’s tightening moves on consumer demand and the broader economy.

On Thursday, the Bank of England warned the U.K. economy will slide into recession this year as a result of higher energy prices.

As inflation worries mount, investors awaited the monthly U.S. jobs data as well as comments by several Fed officials for more clues about the economic outlook.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 2.2 percent to 3,001.56 after President Xi Jinping said that the government would “resolutely adhere to” the zero-Covid policy.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index plunged 3.8 percent to 20,001.96 as COVID-19 outbreaks and the Ukraine war threaten growth.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index rose 0.7 percent to 27,003.56 as trading resumed after a holiday. Automakers and banks topped the gainers list.

Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index slumped 2.2 percent to 7,205.60, with rate-sensitive tech stocks taking a beating after the Reserve Bank drastically raised inflation forecasts.

New Zealand’s NZX-50 Index dropped 1.2 percent to 11,609.38. South Korea’s Kospi average fell 1.2 percent to 2,644.51, with tech, bio and financial large-caps pacing the declines.

Oil prices climbed for a third straight session and gold edged up slightly, while the dollar held near its highest level in two decades ahead of the release of U.S. jobs data.

Overnight, U.S. stocks pulled back sharply on concerns of an economic slowdown.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite plunged 5 percent to its lowest closing level in well over a year as the yield on the benchmark ten-year note soared to its highest levels in well over three years. The Dow lost 3.1 percent and the S&P 500 shed 3.6 percent.

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