A screen above the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the closing number for the Dow Jones industrial average, Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. The stock market closed sharply lower, extending a weeklong slide, as the Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 600 points. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Asian shares extend global losses after Wall Street's rout

February 04, 2018 - 9:37 pm

HONG KONG (AP) — Asian shares opened sharply lower on Monday, extending global stock losses after Wall Street's big selloff as investor anxiety grows over rising bond yields and disappointing quarterly earnings.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 tumbled 2.4 percent to 22,709.22 and South Korea's Kospi shed 1.7 percent to 2,483.71. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index sank 1.9 percent to 31,975.80 and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China dipped 0.4 percent to 3,448.60. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 1.7 percent to 6,019.40.

SELLOFF: Market jitters spread after the U.S. stock market had its worst day in two years on Friday, fueled by worries about inflation and rising Treasury yields. Higher bond yields make it more expensive for companies to borrow and also bonds more attractive to investors than stocks. The latest U.S. jobs report showed job growth above expectations, stoking concerns that the Federal Reserve will raise its key interest rate faster than expected in response to higher inflation.

MARKET INSIGHT: "The U.S. share market is long overdue a decent correction. This now appears to be unfolding and may have further to go as higher inflation, a slightly more aggressive Fed and higher bond yields are factored in," said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital in Sydney. But he predicted that "the pullback in shares should be limited in depth and duration to a correction" of about 10 percent.

WALL STREET: The S&P 500 fell 2.1 percent to close at 2,762.13. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 2.5 percent to 25,520.96 and the Nasdaq slid 2 percent to 7,240.95.

ENERGY: Oil futures extended losses. Benchmark U.S. crude slid 61 cents to $64.84 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 35 cents to settle at $65.45 a barrel on Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 62 cents to $67.96 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 109.94 yen from 110.14 yen in late trading Friday. The euro weakened to $1.2452 from $1.2458.

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