Global stocks lackluster after tech takes tumble


AP and AFP

BEIJING/TOKYO–Global stocks were mostly lackluster Tuesday after Japan’s central bank refrained from expanding its stimulus and declines in tech stocks weighed on sentiment.

The tone for trading in world markets has been largely set by Wall Street since Friday as investors push down the valuations of technology and Internet stocks whose valuations had reached frothy levels. The Bank of Japan’s decision to keep its monetary stimulus at previous levels added to a downbeat mood.

“The growing roar of the bears was easy to see,” said market strategist Evan Lucas of IG in a report. “The pullback in the U.S. high-growth spaces of technology, consumer discretionary and social media is completely understandable.”

Europe’s main stock markets retreated on Tuesday after the previous day’s slump, as Ukraine-Russia tensions offset robust British manufacturing data. London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index dropped 0.76 percent to 6,572.21 points in late morning deals. In Paris, the CAC-40 index lost 0.51 percent to 4,413.36 points and Frankfurt’s DAX 30 shed 0.62 percent to stand at 9,452.11 compared with Monday’s closing values. European equities were “pressured by fresh geopolitical drama together with declines on Wall Street overnight where tech stocks continued their descent amid worries about inflated valuations,” said Ishaq Siddiqi, market strategist at ETX Capital traders. European tech companies though rebounded from heavy losses on Monday, with British group ARM Holdings up 0.38 percent to 976.18 pence. Elsewhere, “markets again are on edge as this fresh escalation of the (Ukraine) crisis could see further turbulence in financial markets,” said Siddiqi. After two days of losses on Wall Street, futures augured a slight bounce back. Dow futures rose 0.1 percent to 16,196 and S&P 500 futures added 0.2 percent to 1,840.90.

Asia’s heavyweight, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225, tumbled 1.4 percent to 14,606.88 after Japan’s central bank refrained from expanding its ultra-loose monetary policy. That was despite a sales tax hike from 5 percent to 8 percent that markets worry might stall growth in consumer spending.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index added 1.9 percent to 2,098.28 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1 percent to 22,596.97. Seoul’s KOSPI added 0.2 percent to 1,993.03.