Women, dressed in ceremonial kimonos, chat in front of an electronic board showing stock prices after the New Year opening ceremony at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, held to wish for the success of Japan’s stock market, in Tokyo, Japan, January 4. Photo: Reuters
Women, dressed in ceremonial kimonos, chat in front of an electronic board showing stock prices after the New Year opening ceremony at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, held to wish for the success of Japan’s stock market, in Tokyo, Japan, January 4. Photo: Reuters

Asian stocks track US losses on growth worries

Japanese shares tumbled as traders returned from an extended new-year break, Australian stocks fell and Chinese futures pointed to a weaker start

Sydney: Asian stocks opened lower, with Japan slumping in its first trading day of the year, after weak economic data added to anxiety about global growth and Apple Inc.’s sales outlook cut sunk U.S. stocks. Treasuries and the yen were steady after gains.

Japanese shares tumbled as traders returned from an extended new-year break, with a slide in Apple suppliers and a rally in the yen weighing on sentiment. Australian stocks fell and Chinese futures pointed to a weaker start. The S&P 500 Index slid 2.5 percent for the steepest sell-off since Christmas Eve. Apple plunged the most since 2013 after citing an unforeseen slowdown in China. Ten-year Treasury yields remained near an 11-month low as a measure of U.S. manufacturing plunged the most since October 2008.

In currency markets, the yen stabilized after being whipsawed during a bout of sharp gyrations Thursday, amplified by algorithmic programs amid thin liquidity during the Japanese holiday. Bloomberg’s dollar index nudged higher.

The weak ISM factory reading added to anxiety spurred by poor data from China and Europe earlier this week, stoking fear that a recession looms larger than previously thought. Delta Airlines Inc. joined Apple on a growing list of companies warning that the trade war and political turmoil may be weighing on corporate profits. Dysfunction in Washington continues, with leaders unable to strike a deal to end a partial shutdown of the federal government.

Amid all the uncertainty, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s bid to buy Celgene and a strong reading on private hiring for December were shrugged off by bearish investors.

In Japan, Apple suppliers Japan Display Inc., Sharp Corp. and Kyocera Corp. tumbled as they caught up with global declines in the wake of the iPhone maker’s revelation it was trimming its sales outlook.

Elsewhere, oil pulled back after climbing to near a two-week high over four consecutive sessions. Traders weighed signs that OPEC is following through on production cuts against hints of an economic slowdown.

Japan’s Topix index fell 2.9 percent as of 9:12 a.m. in Tokyo. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 1.1 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index was little changed. FTSE China A50 futures were down 0.5 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index futures rose 0.2 percent. S&P 500 futures fell 0.3 percent. The underlying index dropped 2.5 percent at the close of trading in New York. The Nasdaq 100 retreated 3.4 percent.

The yen was steady at 107.67 per dollar after rallying to the strongest in more than eight months. The offshore yuan traded at 68813 per dollar. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index edged higher 0.1 percent. The euro traded at $1.1392. The British pound was at $1.2618.

The yield on 10-year Treasuries held at 2.55 percent after falling seven basis points. Australia’s 10-year bond yield was steady at 2.17 percent.

West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 0.7 percent to $46.78 a barrel. Gold was steady at $1,295.36 an ounce after reaching the highest in almost seven months.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text

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