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Aug. 14, 2019, 11:45 p.m. EDT

Asian markets retreat on global recession fears

Nikkei, Hang Seng, Shanghai indexes rise from session lows

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By Marketwatch and Associated Press


Bloomberg News
Pedestrians walk past the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Asian markets fell in early trading Thursday, following Wall Street’s worst day of the year amid signals of recession.

The yield on the closely watched 10-year Treasury fell so low Wednesday that, for the first time since 2007, it briefly crossed a threshold that has correctly predicted many past recessions. Weak economic data from Germany and China added to recent signals of a global slowdown.

That spooked investors, who responded by dumping stocks, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.09%   into an 800-point skid, its biggest drop of the year. The S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.28%  dropped nearly 3% as the market erased all of its gains from a rally the day before. Tech stocks and banks led the broad sell-off.

On Thursday, the U.S. 30-year bond yield /zigman2/quotes/211347052/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD30Y -0.43%   — which hit an all-time low Wednesday — dropped further in Asian trading, falling below the 2% level for the first time. Meanwhile, China’s central bank set the daily midpoint of the yuan at 7.0268 per U.S. dollar, the sixth consecutive session below the 7 level.

Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.21%   dropped 1.2% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.09% was last in positive territory after sharply recovering from early losses. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.59%   fell 0.8% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 -0.45%   slipped 1%. Benchmark indexes in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 -0.10%  , Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -0.37%   and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX +0.13%   all retreated, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.62%   slumped 2.2%. South Korea’s Kospi was closed for a holiday.

Among individual stocks, SoftBank /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 +0.21%   sank in Tokyo trading, along with Toyota /zigman2/quotes/203803129/delayed JP:7203 -0.16%  , Nintendo /zigman2/quotes/208063194/delayed JP:7974 -1.28%   and Inpex /zigman2/quotes/206689846/delayed JP:1605 -0.07%  . In Hong Kong, real-estate stocks such as New World Development /zigman2/quotes/202357413/delayed HK:17 -0.89%   rose, while food processor WH Group /zigman2/quotes/204247792/delayed HK:288 +0.53%   and tech giant Tencent /zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed HK:700 +0.48%   fell. Largan Precision /zigman2/quotes/210444196/delayed TW:3008 -1.82%  slipped in Taiwan, and Beach Energy /zigman2/quotes/200513631/delayed AU:BPT -0.43%  , BHP /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP -0.26%   and Westpac /zigman2/quotes/203084975/delayed AU:WBC -1.13%   dropped in Australia.

Markets are increasingly anxious over the lack of signs of progress toward settling the U.S.-Chinese tariff war over trade and technology.

“U.S. recession risks have increased from U.S. aggressive trade policies on China hurting the rest of the world,” said Eugene Leow and Philip Wee of DBS Group in a report.

On Wednesday night, President Donald Trump linked a trade deal with China responding “humanely” to the Hong Kong crisis, and suggested a meeting with President Xi Jinping to resolve the situation.

Investors have been plowing money into the safety of U.S. government bonds for months amid growing anxiety that weakness in the global economy could sap American growth.

Uncertainty about the U.S.-Chinese tariff war has spurred a return of volatility to the stock market in August. The Dow has dropped more than 5% and the S&P 500 is down more than 4%.

Traders tend to shift money to the safety of U.S. government bonds when they’re fearful of an economic slowdown. That causes the market price to rise and yields — the difference between the current price and the payout when the bond matures — to shrink.

When the yield on longer-term Treasurys falls below that of shorter-term issues, economists call that an “inverted yield curve.” It suggests bond investors expect growth to slow so much that the Federal Reserve feels compelled to cut short-term interest rates to support the economy.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury dropped from 2.02% on July 31 to below 1.60%. On Wednesday, it briefly fell below the two-year Treasury’s yield for the first time since 2007.

Each of the last five times the two-year and 10-year Treasury yields have inverted, a recession has followed.

Elsewhere, Australia added a stronger-than-expected 41,000 jobs in July, rebounding from the previous month’s contraction. Unemployment held steady at 5.2%.

Benchmark U.S. crude   lost 28 cents to $54.95 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.82 on Wednesday to close at $55.23. Brent crude  , used to price international oils, fell 40 cents to $59.08 per barrel in London. It lost $1.82 the previous session to $59.48.

The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.0617%   gained to 105.93 yen from Wednesday’s 105.86 yen.

/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
27,025.88
+23.90 +0.09%
Volume: 225.06M
Oct. 17, 2019 5:02p
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/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
2,997.95
+8.26 +0.28%
Volume: 1.62B
Oct. 17, 2019 5:02p
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/zigman2/quotes/211347052/realtime
add Add to watchlist BX:TMUBMUSD30Y
BX : Tullet Prebon
2.23
-0.0097 -0.43%
Volume: 0.00
Oct. 18, 2019 12:36a
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/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
JP : Nikkei
22,498.10
+46.24 +0.21%
Volume: 0.00
Oct. 18, 2019 1:22p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
26,824.37
-24.12 -0.09%
Volume: 539,182
Oct. 18, 2019 12:05p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
2,959.76
-17.58 -0.59%
Volume: 7.31B
Oct. 18, 2019 12:27p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed
CN : Shenhzen Stock Exchange
1,628.50
-7.42 -0.45%
Volume: 13.04B
Oct. 18, 2019 11:30a
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/zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed
TW : Taiwan Stock Exchange
11,175.43
-11.45 -0.10%
Volume: 0.00
Oct. 18, 2019 12:22p
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/zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed
SG : Singapore: SGX
3,114.65
-11.49 -0.37%
Volume: 0.00
Oct. 18, 2019 12:27p
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/zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed
ID : Indonesia Stock Exchange
6,188.97
+7.96 +0.13%
Volume: 0.00
Oct. 18, 2019 11:30a
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/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
6,643.30
-41.40 -0.62%
Volume: 440,064
Oct. 18, 2019 3:22p
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/zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 4,304.00
+9.00 +0.21%
Volume: 6.12M
Oct. 18, 2019 1:22p
P/E Ratio
4.22
Dividend Yield
1.02%
Market Cap
¥8800.36 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥126.96M
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/zigman2/quotes/203803129/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 7,371.00
-12.00 -0.16%
Volume: 1.77M
Oct. 18, 2019 1:22p
P/E Ratio
11.19
Dividend Yield
2.98%
Market Cap
¥21055.40 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥81.43M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208063194/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 38,560.00
-500.00 -1.28%
Volume: 1.01M
Oct. 18, 2019 1:22p
P/E Ratio
25.71
Dividend Yield
1.97%
Market Cap
¥4784.04 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥217.41M
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/zigman2/quotes/206689846/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 949.40
-0.70 -0.07%
Volume: 1.18M
Oct. 18, 2019 1:22p
P/E Ratio
12.72
Dividend Yield
2.53%
Market Cap
¥1392.01 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥291.81M
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/zigman2/quotes/202357413/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 11.08
-0.10 -0.89%
Volume: 12.02M
Oct. 18, 2019 11:59a
P/E Ratio
6.24
Dividend Yield
4.60%
Market Cap
HK$110.03 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$1.84M
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/zigman2/quotes/204247792/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 7.63
+0.04 +0.53%
Volume: 17.00M
Oct. 18, 2019 11:59a
P/E Ratio
14.37
Dividend Yield
2.62%
Market Cap
HK$111.36 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$1.61M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 332.60
+1.60 +0.48%
Volume: 4.96M
Oct. 18, 2019 11:59a
P/E Ratio
31.09
Dividend Yield
0.30%
Market Cap
HK$3139.51 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$8.27M
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/zigman2/quotes/210444196/delayed
TW : Taiwan
NT$ 4,315.00
-80.00 -1.82%
Volume: 384,000
Oct. 18, 2019 12:22p
P/E Ratio
22.03
Dividend Yield
1.58%
Market Cap
NT$586.86 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/200513631/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 2.34
-0.01 -0.43%
Volume: 3.45M
Oct. 18, 2019 3:22p
P/E Ratio
9.26
Dividend Yield
0.85%
Market Cap
$5.40 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 34.77
-0.09 -0.26%
Volume: 4.02M
Oct. 18, 2019 3:22p
P/E Ratio
14.63
Dividend Yield
5.52%
Market Cap
$182.25 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203084975/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 28.75
-0.33 -1.13%
Volume: 3.23M
Oct. 18, 2019 3:22p
P/E Ratio
14.41
Dividend Yield
6.54%
Market Cap
$101.85 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.09M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled
US : Tullet Prebon
108.5760
-0.0670 -0.0617%
Volume: 0.0000
Oct. 18, 2019 12:42a
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