Asian Tech Stocks Fall, Energy Gains as Korea Threat Seen Muted

  • Technology shares still set for best year since 2009
  • North Korea threat is a ‘temporary issue’ for investors

North Korea Tensions Drives Gold up 1.2%

Asian technology stocks fell, weighing on the benchmark index, as investors largely shrugged off the latest threats from North Korea. Energy stocks gained.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.3% to 161.65 as of 4:34 p.m. in Hong Kong. North Korea’s foreign minister Ri Yong Ho said in New York that the regime has the right to shoot down U.S. warplanes under the United Nations charter and described U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent comments as tantamount to a declaration of war. South Korea’s Kospi index lost 0.3 percent even as about five shares gained for every two that fell.

“North Korea has always been a temporary issue for markets,” said Seo Sang-Young, a strategist at Kiwoom Securities Co. in Seoul. “It’s an excuse for investors to sell technology shares that rose a lot recently and rotate into energy stocks.”

Samsung Electronics Co. was the biggest drag on the regional and South Korean gauges, dropping 3.7 percent. The Asia-wide measure of technology stocks slipped 1.5 percent, trimming its year-to-date performance to 43 percent, as lackluster reviews of Apple Inc.’s new iPhone continued to weigh on its Asian suppliers. Energy shares led group gains, adding 1.4 percent, buoyed by an advance in Cnooc Ltd. after oil prices surged.

Summary

  • Topix little changed, Nikkei 225 -0.3%
    • Topix Flat on North Korea Concern While NTT, Oil Provide Support
  • Hang Seng Index +0.1%, HSCEI +0.5%, Taiex -0.8%
  • Shanghai Composite +0.1%, Shenzhen Composite little changed, CSI 300 +0.1%
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index -0.2%, New Zealand’s NZX 50 +0.2%
  • Kospi Index -0.3%, Kospi 200 Index -0.7%
    • Muted Markets on North Korea are a Red Flag to Oaktree’s Wintrob
  • Straits Times Index -0.1%, Philippines PSEi Index -0.9%, Jakarta Composite Index -0.5%, Vietnam’s VN Index little changed, Thailand’s SET Index +0.2%
  • Sensex Index, Nifty 50 Index little changed
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