Asian stocks mostly lower after Wall Street’s tech-led drop

Bangkok – Asian shares were mostly lower on Wednesday after Wall Street retreated after the holidays, as the market counted down the days for investors to the end of a painful year.

Shares fell in Tokyo, Shanghai and Seoul, but rose in Hong Kong as the Chinese government took further steps to reopen foreign travel after easing its strict “zero COVID” policy.

Oil prices retreated and U.S. futures edged higher.

this Chinese government announced It will start issuing new passports, another big step away from anti-virus travel barriers. That opens up a potential wave of Chinese tourists for next month’s Lunar New Year holiday, when free-spending Chinese tourists head to Asia, Europe and other destinations during what is usually the country’s busiest travel season.

But the governments of India and Japan have said they will take extra precautions for people arriving from China because of the widespread virus outbreak there. U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to communicate internal discussions, also expressed concern and said they were considering similar steps.

“Investors are enthusiastic about China reopening its economy. However, there are numerous reports of rising COVID cases in China, which does threaten supply chains,” said Naeem Aslam of Avatrade.com in a commentary.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.3% to 19,851.72. The Shanghai Composite gave up early gains to fall 0.2 percent to 3,088.35 points.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.4 percent to 26,340.50 after the government reported that Japan’s industrial production fell for a third straight month in November and could fall further in December. Seoul’s Kospi fell 2.2 percent to 2,280.45.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.3% to 7,086.40.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 fell 0.4 percent to 3,829.25 on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% to close at 33,241.56. The Nasdaq fell 1.4% to 10,353.23.

The Russell 2000 fell 0.7 percent to 1,749.52.

Technology and communications services companies accounted for a large share of the S&P 500’s decliners. Apple fell 1.4 percent and Netflix fell 3.7 percent.

Airline stocks fell broadly.A sort of huge winter storm It caused widespread delays and forced several airlines to cancel weekend flights. Delta Air Lines fell 0.8 percent, American Airlines fell 1.4 percent and JetBlue Airways fell 1.1 percent.

Southwest Airlines shares fell 6% after it had to cancel about two-thirds of its flights over the past few days, blaming staffing and weather-related issues. The federal government said it would investigate Why the company is so far behind other carriers.

Tesla fell 11.4 percent, the biggest drop among S&P 500 stocks. According to published reports, the electric car maker temporarily halted production at a factory in Shanghai.

U.S. Treasury yields mostly rose as the U.S. bond market reopened from the Christmas holidays. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note, which affects mortgage rates, rose to 3.85% from 3.75% late on Friday.

After a dismal year for stocks, investors are looking ahead to 2023, expecting relatively quiet trading on Wall Street this week.

Uncertainty over how far the Federal Reserve and other central banks will go to combat the highest inflation in decades has rattled investors. The Fed has raised key interest rates seven times this year and signaled further hikes in 2023, even as the pace of price increases has been slowing.

High interest rates have weighed heavily on prices of stocks and other investments, fueling fears that the economy could slow too much and slip into a recession next year.

The benchmark S&P 500 hit an all-time high in early January but is down nearly 20% this year. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell nearly 34%.

In other trading on Wednesday, U.S. benchmark crude fell 25 cents to $79.28 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 3 cents to $79.53 a barrel on Tuesday.

Brent crude, the pricing basis for international trades, fell 17 cents to $84.51 a barrel.

The dollar rose to 134.01 yen from 133.43 yen. The euro traded at $1.0649, up from $1.0640.

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