Asian stocks tumble on heels of U.S. tech selloff

Asia-Pacific stock markets were hit by profit-taking Friday, after a strong week in the region and a selloff in U.S. tech stocks overnight.

Australia and South Korea led losses in the region, with the Kospi poised for its third decline in four sessions. The index

SEU, -1.34%

 fell 1.4% as a 3.4% pullback in Samsung

005930, -3.65%

 eighed. Until this week, the Kospi had been a star in setting record closing highs for eight straight trading days through Monday.

Profit-taking was also evident in Australia, where the S&P/ASX 200 index

XJO, -1.45%

 slid 1.5% after rising a combined 1.7% in the previous three days.

“The market seems to be dominated at the moment with short-term traders trading a range,” said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Australia. “Basically, they’re looking for value where we’ve been consistently seeing the lows and taking profits where we’ve been seeing the highs.”

Overnight, U.S. tech stocks slid abruptly around midday following a series of record highs. As the U.S. is in the heart of earnings season and trends to results have improved after a lackluster start, Gavin Parry at Parry International Trading said he doesn’t see results ultimately providing much more of a catalyst to broadly boost equities.

Many other Asian stock indexes were down about 0.5%. The Nikkei 225 index

NIK, -0.62%

fell 0.6%. 

Elsewhere, the dollar

DXY, -0.04%

 was little changed in Asian trading after a modest rebound overnight.

But the Swiss franc continued to lose ground amid brighter prospects for the eurozone economy and expectations that the European Central Bank will soon begin winding down its asset-purchase program. Swiss central bank officials have long argued that country’s currency is overvalued, in part because of ECB stimulus. The euro

EURCHF, +0.6123%

 and dollar

USDCHF, +0.5078%

 are both up 0.6% against the franc.

Commodities prices were also taking a breather after rising earlier this week. Oil futures

CLU7, -0.22%

 eased 0.1%, copper fell 0.3% and profit-taking emerged for Asian palm oil after the commodity hit two-month highs Thursday on strong demand from China and India.

Write to Lucy Craymer at

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