Asian, European Markets Follow Wall Street, With Stocks Suffering Sharp Losses

Feb 6, 2018

Updated at 4:30 a.m. ET

Asian and European markets tumbled Tuesday after dizzying losses on Wall Street that saw the Dow Jones industrial average shed 4.6 percent, its biggest loss in six and a half years.

In Europe, where the trading day was in full swing, the London's FTSE 100, Germany's DAX 30 and France's CAC 40 were all trending down.

In Asia, where the exchanges had all closed:

  • Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 4.7 percent, closing Tuesday to 21,610.24 after a rally in the last hour shaved off some off the losses.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed at 30,626.41, down just over 5 percent.
  • The Shanghai Composite Index lost 3.35 percent to 3,370.65
  • Singapore's STI was down 2.7 percent.
  • Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 slide was off 192.9 points, or 3.2 percent, ending the day at 5,833.30
  • South Korea's Kospi shed 1.54 percent.

"It's pretty crazy," Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG in Melbourne, Australia, said, according to MarketWatch. "There has been a large portion of people who don't quite understand why things have happened."

Channel News Asia writes:

"Tokyo led a collapse throughout the region, diving more than five percent, with Hong Kong down more than four percent and Sydney sinking three percent.

Other assets were also hammered, with a slump in oil prices scything energy firms, while higher yielding currencies have been hit by a flight to safe havens."

Yoshinori Shigemi, market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, is quoted in Singapore's The Straits Times as saying that with inflation likely in the U.S., the appeal of equities will gradually erode, although the markets might well rebound in the short run.

"In the end, the [U.S. Federal Reserve] will have to hike rates. And if it doesn't, long-dated bonds will be sold off on worries about inflation. Either way, that is going to slow down the economy. Rising wages also mean corporate profit margins will be squeezed gradually down the road," Shigemi tells the newspaper.

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