Japan’s Nikkei 225 falls 2% as Asia-Pacific shares slide after Wall Street tumble

SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific stocks fell in Wednesday morning trade following an overnight tumble on Wall Street, with the Nasdaq Composite plunging nearly 3% as bond yields rise.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 2.08% while the Topix index dropped 2.25%. South Korea’s Kospi declined 1.09%.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia fell 0.93%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.34% lower.

Investors watched the 10-year Treasury yield, which crossed the 1.5% mark on Monday and has continued rising since, last sitting at 1.5565%. Yields move inversely to prices.

The rising yields hit tech stocks overnight on Wall Street, with the Nasdaq Composite falling 2.83% to 14,546.68 for its worst day since March. Tech stocks are hit in an environment of rising yields as the rise in rates makes their future cash flows less valuable, and in turn makes the popular stocks appear overvalued.

Tech stocks in Asia slipped in Wednesday morning trade, with shares of Japanese conglomerate Softbank Group falling nearly 2% and Samsung Electronics’ stock in South Korea dropping 2.1%.

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On Wall Street, the S&P 500 declined 2.04% overnight to 4,352.63 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 569.38 points to 34,299.99.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.71 following its recent climb from below 93.6.

The Japanese yen traded at 111.64 per dollar, weaker than levels below 111.2 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7239 after yesterday drop from above $0.729.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.83% to $78.43 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 0.93% to $74.59 per barrel.

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