TOKYO ( Associated Press) – Asian stocks fell on Monday after a sell-off on Wall Street last week as investors weighed in on the impact on regional economies from inflation, the war in Ukraine and the COVID-19 lockdown in China.
Benchmarks in Japan, South Korea and Australia declined. Business was closed in China and other regional markets for the holidays.
A report showing pandemic lockdowns have hurt factory activity in China, a main regional driver of growth, was a fresh source of concern.
Monthly Purchasing Managers’ IndexThe numbers, released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics, fell to 47.4 in April, from 49.5 on a 100-point scale in March. Numbers below 50 show contracting activity.
COVID-19 outbreak Bureau of statistician Zhao Qinghe said that has affected China’s factory activities and market demand.
Some enterprises have reduced or stopped production with disruptions in logistics as well as supplies or raw materials and components.
Residents of Shanghai, China’s most populous city, spent much of April in lockdown. The capital, Beijing, is conducting mass testing of millions of residents.
In Japan, the Golden Week holidays are allowing people to take a break, even those in the “workaholic” culture in companies. But crowds gathering at resorts are raising concerns that coronavirus cases could rise again, prompting a resumption of restrictions on restaurant opening hours and other business activities.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.1% to 26,814.78 in afternoon trade. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.2% to 7,347.00. South Korea’s Kospi ended 0.4% lower at 2,685.28. Business was closed in China for Labor Day, a national holiday.
in Ukraine, The evacuation of civilians began from a steel plant in Mariupol under constant bombardment by the Russian military. Several previous evacuation attempts failed.
On Wall Street on Friday, heavy losses for technology stocks pushed the S&P 500 up 3.6% to 4,131.93, while the Nasdaq fell 4% to 12,334.64, down 13.3% in its biggest monthly loss since April 2008 .
The Dow fell 2.8% to 32,977.21 and shares of the smaller company also had a bad day. The Russell 2000 slipped 2.8% to end at 1,864.10.
Investors are reviewing financial results for large tech companies, industrial firms and retailers and some disappointing results or the outlook from Apple, Google’s parent company and Amazon helped boost sales last week.
Retail giant Amazon reports its first loss since 2015Its market value has declined by more than $200 billion with the decline.
The Nasdaq Composite, heavily weighted with technology stocks, is down 21.2% this year.
Traders are watching the next steps of the US Federal Reserve to tackle inflation. The Fed may announce another round of rate hikes this week. This means higher borrowing costs at a time when inflation concerns are high on the minds of investors and consumers.
Prices of everything from food to gas are rising as the economy recovers from the pandemic and there has been a huge disconnect between high demand and short supply. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has only added to inflationary concerns.
In energy trading, benchmark US crude fell 99 cents to $103.70 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, it fell 67 cents to $104.69 a barrel.
Internationally, Brent crude fell 97 cents to $106.17 a barrel.
In currency trading, the US dollar rose from 129.83 yen to 130.36 yen. The Euro is priced at $1.0522, which is less than $1.0546.
Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama