Asian markets resume their fall, with tech stocks leading the way

Asian stock markets lost ground in early trading Monday following Friday’s regional bounce that eased last week’s pain. Japan’s Nikkei fell more than 1% following its worst week in right months, while indexes in Hong Kong and Taiwan also dropped more than 1%.

Defensive stocks were down early in Japan. Near session lows in the early going, the Nikkei NIK, -1.73% was last down 1.3%. The financial sector was hit particularly hard, with Mitsubishi UFJ 8306, -2.14%  and Mizuho Financial 8411, -1.71%  down around 2%. Sharp losses were also felt by Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing 9983, -5.40% and electronics giant Sharp 6753, -2.02%  . SoftBank 9984, -6.81%  tumbled more than 5% over worries about its close investment ties to the Saudi government in the wake of a journalist’s disappearance. That came as the yen USDJPY, -0.11%  was near session highs, with the dollar easing to ¥112.16 from about ¥112.25 earlier.

Hong Kong stocks also slid following Friday’s bounce. The Hang Seng HSI, -1.07%  was off about 1%, led by tech declines. Tencent 0700, -3.54%  dropped 2.5% and smartphone-component maker AAC Tech 2018, -5.83%  fell more than 4%.

Markets in mainland China were mixed, with the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.79%  down 0.3% but the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite 399106, -0.29%  up 0.4%.

Tech stocks also weighed in Taiwan’s Taiex Y9999, -1.38% , as Taiwan Semiconductor 2330, -2.32% declined more than 2%. South Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.66%  was down 0.3%, with index heavyweights Samsung 005930, -1.02% and SK Hynix 000660, -2.76%  sinking.

Australia’s ASX 200 XJO, -1.13%  was down more than 1%, with financials and materials dragging down the market. Commonwealth Bank of Australia CBA, -2.24% , Australia and New Zealand Banking Group ANZ, -1.99%  and Westpac Banking WBC, -1.74%  were all down more than 1%, while mining giants Rio Tinto RIO, -0.94%  and BHP Billiton BHP, -1.68%  fell around 1.5%. New Zealand’s benchmark NZ50GR, -0.10%  was about flat after its worst week in 8½ years.

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