Asia shares nose dive to 19-month lows

Global Times - - Bizmarkets -

Share mar­kets in Asia plunged to a 19-month low on Thurs­day after Wall Street’s worst losses in eight months led to broader risk aver­sion, a rise in mar­ket vo­latil­ity gauges and con­cerns over over­val­ued stock mar­kets in an en­vi­ron­ment of rapidly ris­ing dol­lar yields.

MSCI’s broad­est in­dex of Asia-Pa­cific shares out­side Ja­pan was off 3.8 per­cent around 0500 GMT, and ear­lier touched its low­est level since March 2017.

Mar­kets in Europe are seen as un­likely to stem the bleed­ing, with fi­nan­cial spread­bet­ters ex­pect­ing Lon­don’s FTSE to open 1.4 per­cent lower at 7,047, Frank­furt’s DAX to open down 1.8 per­cent at 11,501 and Paris’ CAC to open down 2.1 per­cent at 5,096.

The sell-off, which came as the head of the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund, Chris­tine La­garde, said stock mar­ket val­u­a­tions have been “ex­tremely high”, erased hun­dreds of bil­lions of dol­lars of wealth around the re­gion.

“Eq­uity mar­kets are locked in a sharp sell­off, with con­cern around how far yields will rise, warn­ings from the IMF about fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity risks and con­tin­ued trade ten­sion all driv­ing un­cer­tainty,” summed up an­a­lysts at ANZ.

Ja­pan’s Nikkei ended down 3.94 per­cent, its steep­est daily drop since March, while the broader TOPIX lost around $207 bil­lion in mar­ket value, fall­ing 3.5 per­cent.

The Hang Seng In­dex sank 3.54 per­cent, fall­ing be­low the 26,000 sup­port level, with ev­ery mem­ber of the gauge de­clin­ing.

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