Japan, China stocks drop more than 1%; Samsung estimates 50% jump in first-quarter profit


SINGAPORE — Japan stocks dropped nearly 2% and other Asia-Pacific markets fell on Thursday following two days of declines on Wall Street.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 1.77%, while the Topix slid 1.72%. Shares of Fast Retailing dropped 2.89%.

Mainland Chinese stocks declined. The Shanghai composite was down 0.99%, while the Shenzhen component dropped 1.18%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 1.31% and the Hang Seng tech index was 2.12% lower. Bilibili shares were down 4.27% and Alibaba’s Hong Kong shares fell 1.95%.

Vey-Sern Ling, a managing director at UBP, said Hong Kong-listed tech stocks are facing a “confluence of headwinds” given the geopolitical tensions with Russia, rising Fed rates and potential delisting of Chinese companies in the U.S.

However, he said valuations in the sector are “extremely low” and there are supportive factors for such companies.

“Perhaps if you take a longer term view it may not be such a bad idea to gain some exposure currently,” he told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Thursday.

Arguably, the aggressive balance sheet run-off likely stole the show to deliver a much larger hawkish jolt to markets.
Vishnu Varathan
Head of economics and strategy, Mizuho Bank

Nasdaq and Hong Kong-listed announced that Xu Lei will succeed founder Richard Liu as CEO of the company effective immediately. Liu will remain chairman of the board of directors, while Xu will be an executive director.

Last year, Liu stepped back from day-to-day operations, and Xu was named president of JD. The company’s shares listed in Hong Kong declined 3.58% on Thursday.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.65%.

In Korea, the Kospi slipped 1.32% while the Kosdaq declined 1.7%.

Samsung Electronics reported its operating profit for the first quarter of 2022 likely jumped around 50% as compared to a year ago. The memory chip and smartphone maker posted an estimated 14.1 trillion won ($11.6 billion) profit, it said in its earnings guidance.

The company’s stock was down 0.73%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 1.17%.

In central bank news, the Reserve Bank of India will continue its monetary policy meeting on Thursday.

Overnight in the U.S., major stock indexes fell for a second day as investors reacted to Fed guidance on tightening monetary policy.

Fed meeting minutes showed that officials are looking to shrink the balance sheet by $95 billion a month. Interest rates are also expected to rise more quickly.

“Arguably, the aggressive balance sheet run-off likely stole the show to deliver a much larger hawkish jolt to markets,” Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank, wrote in a note on Thursday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 144.67 points, or 0.42%, to 34,496.51. The S&P 500 fell 0.97% to 4,481.15, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped another 2.22% to 13,888.82 after falling about 2.3% on Tuesday.

The 10-year Treasury yield rose to a three-year high above 2.65% on Wednesday and was last at 2.5846%.

On the economic front, U.S. weekly jobless claims data is set to be released Thursday morning in the U.S.

Oil up more than 1%

Both crude benchmarks rose more than 1% on Thursday morning in Asia.

U.S. crude futures rose 1.64% to trade at $97.81 per barrel, while Brent crude was up 1.82% at $102.91 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, last traded at 99.576.

The Japanese yen traded at 123.65 per dollar, while the Australian dollar was at $0.7475, weaker than yesterday’s levels.

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