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News > International
Asia closes in the red
January 3, 2001: 5:57 a.m. ET

Techs pounded in Singapore, HK in wake of Nasdaq tumble, profit fears
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LONDON (CNNfn) - Asia's top markets slumped Wednesday, with indexes in Hong Kong and Singapore falling nearly 2 percent after U.S. tech shares reeled overnight.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong closed down 280.36 points, or 1.9 percent, to 14,589.58, with trading company Li & Fung, which is highly dependent on exports to the U.S. market, tumbling 9.4 percent.

Singapore's Straits Times index ended down 34.76 points, or 1.8 percent, graphicat 1,861.52, its lowest close since mid-October. Network systems integrator Datacraft plunged 8.4 percent.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange, Asia's biggest market, was closed for the new year holiday and is set to reopen Thursday.

In other leading Pacific Rim markets, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 0.8 percent, with media conglomerate News Corp. losing 2.8 percent and Sausage Software dropping 8.8 percent.

The Taiwan Weighted index in Taipei declined 0.8 percent, led by a 3.6 percent decline for chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor. In Seoul, the KOSPI index nudged up 0.1 percent.

In the currency market, the dollar was little changed compared to the Japanese yen. The U.S. currency fetched ¥114.46, against ¥ 114.37 in late New York trading Tuesday.

U.S. fears fuel tech spill

In Hong Kong, companies with ties to the U.S. market were particularly weak, a day after a report there showed manufacturing activity last month fell to its lowest level in a decade. Johnson Electric, which exports about a third of its products to the U.S., fell 5.1 percent.

Analysts were holding out hope that the U.S. Federal Reserve would cut interest rates in to ease the threat of a damaging slowdown.

"Some investors are staying at the sidelines as uncertainties linger over whether the Fed would surprise the market by a larger-than-expected cut in interest rates," said Herbert Lau, director of research at Celestial Asia Securities.

Financial stocks were lower, but most managed to outperform the Hang Seng index.

Global banking group HSBC Holdings, one of the Hang Seng's most valuable companies, fell 0.9 percent. Dealers said the stock's fall was cushioned by lingering investor optimism about a U.S. rate cut at the end of January. The Hong Kong dollar is pegged to the U.S. dollar.

Hang Seng Bank, a subsidiary of HSBC, dropped 1.5 percent.

Property companies were also lower in Hong Kong. Sun Hung Kai Properties shed 3.9 percent and Henderson Land slipped 4 percent.

In Hong Kong's telecom sector, mobile-phone company China Mobile (Hong Kong) fell 3.3 percent, as rival China Unicom shed 2.5 percent.

Internet and telecom company Pacific Century CyberWorks shed 2 percent. China's largest computer manufacturer, Legend Holdings, fell 4.3 percent. But Taipei-listed computer maker Acer provided a bright spot for tech investors, gaining 3.9 percent.

Broad losses hit Singapore's top index, but many companies pared their losses late in the session. In the tech sector, Venture Manufacturing fell 0.9 percent, chipmaker Chartered Semiconductor shed 2.2 percent and telecom heavyweight Singapore Telecommunications lost 1.1 percent.

Singapore electronics maker Omni Industries ended down 2.5 percent, paring an earlier 11.4 percent loss.

Elsewhere in Asia, Jakarta's JSX index fell 1.1 percent and the KLSE composite in Malaysia shed 1.4 percent.

On the upside, Manila's PHS composite rose 0.2 percent, Bangkok's SET index climbed 1 percent and Mumbai's BSE Sensex added 1 percent.

-- from staff and wire reports graphic

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.