Technology Stocks Drag Asia Lower as Morgan Stanley Downgrades

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Asian stocks retreated from Friday’s record after Morgan Stanley downgraded Samsung Electronics Co. and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., saying their shares had risen too much.

Technology stocks -- and Samsung in particular -- were the biggest drags as the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.5 percent to 172.28 as of 4:19 p.m. Morgan Stanley cut its recommendation one level to equal-weight on Samsung, TSMC, Himax Technologies Inc. and ASM Pacific Technology Ltd. The bank also said memory-chip prices may fall amid a glut in supply.

Read more on how Morgan Stanley’s rating downgrade on Samsung has impacted South Korean stocks

The technology sector has been the top performer this year, helping Asian stocks outperform their U.S. and European counterparts with an advance of about 28 percent. Samsung had jumped 54 percent as of Friday and TSMC more than 30 percent. Monday’s selling also included investors locking in gains, said Jeffrosenberg Tan, head of investment strategy at PT Sinarmas Sekuritas in Jakarta

“The retreat in Asian equities today could well be just profit-taking,” Tan wrote in a text message. 


  • Topix index -0.2%, Nikkei 225 -0.2%
    • Japan Shares Turn Lower as Yen Rebounds, Machinery Makers Drop
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  • Hang Seng Index -0.6%, Hang Seng China Enterprises Index -1.1%, Shanghai Composite Index -0.9%
  • Taiex -1% 
  • Kospi -1.4%, Kospi 200 -1.8%
  • S&P/ASX 200 +0.1%, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 +0.6%
  • Sensex Index -0.1%, Nifty 50 -0.2%
  • Straits Times Index -0.2%, Malaysia’s KLCI -0.1%, Jakarta Composite Index -0.4%, Thailand’s SET -0.1%, Philippine Stock Exchange PSEi Index little changed, Vietnam’s VN-Index +0.3%
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