Asian stocks slid Tuesday after tech losses dragged down Wall Street and Nissan’s chairman was arrested on charges of financial misconduct.
KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.5 percent to 2,663.08 and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 1.1 percent to 21,576.09. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng retreated 1.8 percent to 25,884.22 and Seoul’s Kospi shed 1 percent to 2,079.54. Australia‘s S&P-ASX 200 gave up 0.5 percent to 5,662.90 and India’s Sensex was off 0.5 percent at 35,655.90. Benchmarks in Taiwan, New Zealand and Southeast Asia retreated.
WALL STREET: Apple, Microsoft and Amazon sustained some of the worst losses as technology companies tumbled again, leading to broad losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly fell 500 points. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 1.7 percent to 2,690.73. The Dow sank 1.6 percent to 25,017.44. It was down as much as 512 earlier. The Nasdaq composite skidded 3 percent to 7,028.48. Boeing, a major exporter, gave up 4.5 percent. Apple fell 4 percent and Amazon gave back 5.1 percent.
NISSAN: Nissan said Chairman Carlos Ghosn, who engineered a turnaround at the automaker, was arrested and will be fired on charges he underreported his income and misused company funds. Nissan said Ghosn and another senior executive, Greg Kelly, were accused of offenses involving millions of dollars that were discovered during an investigation set off by a whistleblower. Kelly also was arrested. The scandal threw into question Ghosn’s future as leader of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, which sold 10.6 million cars last year, more than any other manufacturer. U.S.-traded shares of Nissan lost 5.8 percent, while Renault shares dropped 8.4 percent in Paris.
U.S.-CHINA TRADE: Investors focused on simmering trade tension between Washington and Beijing after the two governments clashed at a weekend conference. The two countries have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods in a fight over China’s technology policy. Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping are due to meet this month at a gathering of the Group of 20 major economies. At the weekend meeting in Papua New Guinea, Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, criticized Beijing for intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers and unfair trading practices.
ANALYST’S QUOTE: “The conviction for a bounce back into the year end for equity markets can be seen slowly diminishing as worries across a variety of issues entrench themselves,” said Jingyi Pan of IG in a report. Pan said investors are shifting to safe havens amid uncertainty ahead of the G20 meeting.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 9 cents to $57.11 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 52 cents on Monday to $57.20. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 22 cents to $66.57 per barrel in London. It added 3 cents the previous session to $66.79.
CURRENCY: The dollar edged up to 112.59 yen from Monday’s 112.53 yen. The euro declined to $1.1452 from $1.1454.