• By The Financial District


Asia’s stock markets slipped on Friday, following the steepest Wall Street selloff since June, while safer bonds and the dollar found support as investors sought shelter, Tom Westbrook and Alwyn Scott reported for Reuters on September 4, 2020.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.6%. Japan’s Nikkei dropped 1.3% while markets in Sydney and Seoul fell 2%. The moves are more muted than the 5% plunge on the tech-heavy Nasdaq overnight, or the S&P 500’s 3.5% drop, which traders said was overdue given recent frothy gains, Business Insider also reported.

But investors are worried the fall might turn into a deeper rout, with a crucial US payrolls report due later on Friday seen as possible selling trigger if it disappoints. After-hours trade in US tech companies pointed to further pressure and futures dropped, with S&P 500 futures down 0.4% early in Asia and Nasdaq 100 futures down 1.2%.

The tumble was the biggest one-day percentage drop on the tech-focused Nasdaq 100 since March, while the broader Nasdaq, S&P 500 and Dow Jones indexes fell by their most since June and the darling stocks of recent months were hit hardest. Apple fell 8%, Tesla 9% and Microsoft 6%. Still, the plunge only wound the Nasdaq’s level back as far as where it sat last Tuesday. It is still up 28% for the year so far and 73% higher than its March trough. “No single factor sparked the sell-off, rather it seemed to be an accumulation of worries about the rally in the tech sector, overcrowding and rising valuations,” said Kerry Craig, Global Market Strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.