Asian stocks drop, looking to face worst month
Asian shares fell on Friday, with some of the region’s equities facing the largest monthly drop since the height of the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns in March. Meanwhile, the dollar lingered close to one-month lows on expectations of continued Fed stimulus.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan plummeted 0.84%, driving its losses for the week to over 6.5%. In Japan, Nikkei went down 1.71%, set to face its 11th straight month of losses on the month’s last trading day.
In China, blue chips dipped 0.96%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng took a 1.27% loss. Hang Seng Tech’s loss brought its total declines for the week to over 17%. South Korea’s Kospi also inched down 0.94%.
In related news, Nasdaq e-mini futures edged down 1.35% while S&P 500 e-minis slipped 0.82%.
However, the market’s losses were relatively moderate in comparison with the sharp declines earlier in the week that had been fueled by investor concerns over the impact of China’s regulatory actions against the education, property, and tech sectors.
Reassurances from Chinese regulators and official media, as well as statements from the US Federal Reserve that its bond-buying program would be retained for now, have worked in calming investors’ nerves.