Asian Shares Fall After Wall Street Sell-off

Asian stocks ended notably lower on Friday after Wall Street saw its biggest sell-off since June due to a steep decline in tech shares amid concerns about excessive valuations in the sector.

Investors now look ahead to the release of the closely-watched U.S. monthly jobs report for August due later in the day. The Labor Department report is expected to show that employment surged up by 1.4 million jobs.

Shares in China and Hong Kong closed lower for the third straight session. China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 29.61 points, or 0.9 percent, to 3,355.37, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index tumbled 312.15 points or 1.3 percent to 24,695.45.

Japanese shares declined as investors booked profits after strong gains in the previous sessions. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index slumped 260.10 points, or 1.1 percent, to 23,205.43 after rising to a six-month high in the previous session, while the broader Topix slid 14.64 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,616.60.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group Corp. tumbled 3.2 percent and Fast Retailing edged down 0.2 percent. Sony dipped 1.6 percent and Panasonic declined 0.4 percent.

Apple suppliers in Japan such as Murata Manufacturing declined 1.6 percent and Sharp lost 0.7 percent after the iPhone maker’s shares tumbled overnight.

The Australian market tumbled after two straight days of gains to record its worst since early May, with tech and healthcare stocks among the major losers.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index plunged 187.10 points, or 3.1 percent, to 5,925.50, while the broader All Ordinaries Index plummeted 192.20 points or 3.1 percent, to 6,108.80.

In the tech sector, WiseTech Global and Appen tumbled more than 7.percent each, while Afterpay slid 6.7 percent after their U.S. peers tumbled overnight.

Among healthcare stocks, ResMed fell 5.4 percent, CSL lost 4.1 percent and Cochlear slid 3.7 percent.

The big four banks, ANZ Banking, National Australia Bank and Westpac, lost more than 3 percent each, while Commonwealth Bank declined 2.1 percent.

In economic news, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said that the total value of retail sales in Australia was up a seasonally adjusted 3.2 percent on month in July. That was shy of expectations for an increase of 3.3 percent and was up from 2.7 percent in the previous month.

Seoul stocks pared initial losses but closed lower after three days of gains. The benchmark Kospi lost 27.65 points, or 1.2 percent, to close at 2,368.25.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics dipped 1.4 percent, while internet portal giant Naver Corp. lost 3.1 percent and rival Kakao declined 2.0 percent.

New Zealand shares also closed notably lower. The benchmark NZX 50 Index tumbled 230.74 points, or 1.9 percent, to 11,824.31. Blue-chip stocks such as Fisher & Paykel fell 5.4 percent and dairy company a2Milk Co. dropped 2.8 percent.

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