By Marketwatch and Associated Press
Japanese markets tumbled Friday as they reopened after the New Year holidays, while other Asian indexes were mixed after a technology-led sell-off on Wall Street.
The Nikkei 225 index /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.50% was last down 2.8%, after earlier falling more than 3% as technology and electronics makers slumped in the first trading day of 2019 for Tokyo. SoftBank /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 +0.51% and Sony /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 +3.37% fell around 4%, and Fast Retailing /zigman2/quotes/200663563/delayed JP:9983 +0.82% dropped 6%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.31% rallied 1.2%, as oil producer CNOOC /zigman2/quotes/203421416/delayed HK:883 +4.16% rose 4% and telecom China Mobile /zigman2/quotes/200868736/delayed HK:941 +0.32% gained 2.5%. Apple suppliers continued to sink, with AAC /zigman2/quotes/201441510/delayed HK:2018 -1.41% and Sunny Optical /zigman2/quotes/206687505/delayed HK:2382 -2.35% down more than 2% each.
Stocks jumped in mainland China, as the Shanghai Composite index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -1.19% added 1.8% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 -1.74% surged 2.2%.
Traders cheered a private survey released Friday showing that China’s services sector expanded in December. China’s Caixin Services PMI, a survey of service industry purchasing managers, had a reading of 53.9 in December, a six-month high. This was slightly higher than November’s reading of 53.8. The survey comes on the back of weak manufacturing data earlier in the week.
Investors also were encouraged by news that the U.S. and China will hold trade talks in Beijing on Jan. 7 and 8. The U.S. delegation will be led by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, a Commerce Ministry statement said Friday.
South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.62% , which has a high number of tech stocks, added 0.4% after Thursday’s lower close, though Samsung /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 -1.62% declined. Australia’s ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.59% fell, as did Taiwan’s benchmark , while Singapore’s Strait Times Index /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -0.76% rose almost 1%.
“Concerns on global growth intensified,” Zhu Huani of Mizuho Bank said in a commentary. “As growths in China and Eurozone have been clearly slowing, investor fears that moderating global demand will start to dampen U.S. growth momentum,” she added.
Earlier, stocks slumped on Wall Street, led by a sharp slide in technology companies after Apple /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +0.77% reported a slowdown in iPhone sales over the holidays in China. The 5% drop in tech stocks Thursday was the biggest for the sector since 2011.
The Apple news jolted markets and reinforced fears that the global economy is slowing. A surprisingly weak report on U.S. manufacturing made matters worse.
The broad S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.32% gave up 2.5% to 2,447.89 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.59% lost 2.8% to 22,868.22. The Nasdaq composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.11% , which has a high concentration of tech stocks, declined 3% to 6,463.50.
In other trading, U.S. crude oil added 17 cents to $47.26 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 55 cents to $47.09 per barrel on Thursday. Brent crude , used to price international oils, rose 11 cents to $56.06 per barrel. It gained $1.04 to $55.95 per barrel in London.
The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.0402% strengthened to 108.37 yen from 107.67 yen.