Investing.com - Asian markets were mostly lower on Thursday following a sell-off in technology stocks overnight in the U.S. markets, while currencies crisis in emerging markets continued to weigh on market sentiments.
Technology stocks fell overnight on the Wall Street as Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) COO Sheryl Sandberg both testified in front of Congress, addressing issues surrounding online election meddling and abuse on social platforms.
Meanwhile, worries over emerging markets’ currencies remained in focus, as Argentina’s currency peso hit a record low earlier this week and Turkey’s lira crisis made headlines in late August, South Africa’s rand also fell at a 2% rate against the dollar, marking the lowest level since early 2016. The rand has fallen by 19% this year. Half of the decline was partly thanks to the controversies over the country’s land expropriation laws.
China’s Shanghai Composite and the SZSE Component both fell 0.2% by 1:10AM ET (05:10 GMT), as Investors wait to see if, as expected, Trump slaps tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of imports from China, which would ratchet up the trade dispute with Beijing. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid 1.2%.
"An escalation of the U.S.-China trade war may be imminent, the timing is somewhat unclear and this justifies caution even given the (U.S. dollar) pullback," JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) analysts said.
"Conviction and participation will likely remain light until an announcement."
Down under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slid 1.3%. Telstra Corporation Ltd. (AX:TLS) outperformed as its shares jumped as much as 3.5% following the news that the company lowered its guidance for fiscal 2019 to account for the release of the corporate plan for Australia's National Broadband Network.
Looking ahead, investors’ focus will likely switch to a key monthly U.S. employment report for August due Friday.
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