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 0.2% to 161.92 as of 11:47 a.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 almost two shares gained for each one 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 as much as 2.7 percent. The Asia-wide measure of technology stocks slipped 1 percent, trimming its year-to-date performance to 44 percent, as lackluster reviews of Apple Inc.’s new iPhone continue to weigh on its Asian suppliers. Energy shares led group gains, adding 1.6 percent, buoyed by an advance in Woodside Petroleum Ltd. after oil prices surged overnight.
- Topix -0.6%, Nikkei 225 -0.3%
- Hang Seng Index -0.1%, HSCEI +0.4%, Taiex little changed
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- Shanghai Composite +0.1%, Shenzhen Composite -0.1%, CSI 300 +0.1%
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index -0.1%, New Zealand’s NZX 50 +0.2%
- Kospi Index -0.2%, Kospi 200 Index -0.6%
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- Straits Times Index -0.2%, Philippines PSEi Index -1.4%, Jakarta Composite Index -0.2%, Vietnam’s VN Index -0.5%
- Sensex Index and Nifty 50 Index little changed