Stocks in Asia Pacific were unsteady Thursday after a major sell-off on Wall Street, as investors continued to grapple with Omicron headlines and concerns that the US Federal Reserve may need to take a more hawkish stance in the coming months.
Some markets in the region fell sharply, with Japan’s benchmark Nikkei (N225) and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 plunging as much as 2.9% and 2.7%, respectively. South Korea’s Kospi (KOSPI) slid 1.1%. Meanwhile, investors in Greater China appeared calmer: As of 2:38 p.m. local time, the Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HSI) were flat.
Hong Kong tech stocks slipped, however, with the Hang Seng Tech Index down 0.6%. Gaming company Bilibili and short video platform Kuaishou shed about 6% and 4%, respectively. Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst of Asia Pacific at Oanda, noted that similar action on Wall Street was taking place, and wouldn’t “help” sentiment in China, “especially in Hong Kong.”
US investors sent stocks lower on Wednesday, as they dealt with the Federal Reserve’s December meeting minutes, which confirmed that the central bank had its foot on stimulus brakes. Tech stocks were hit particularly hard during Wednesday’s session, with the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) dropping 3.3%, its worst performance since February 2021.