It is a sea of blood red this October morning as the biggest market rout since February and the longest selloff of the Trump administration triggered a surge of global selling from the U.S. through Asia and spreading to Europe on Thursday, with markets from Tokyo to London slumping amid fresh fears the decade-old bull market may be coming to an end.
“Equity markets are locked in a sharp sell-off, with concern around how far yields will rise, warnings from the IMF about financial stability risks and continued trade tension all driving uncertainty,” summed up analysts at ANZ.
The sell-off that started in the U.S. ripped across Asian stock markets Thursday, with indexes in Japan, Hong Kong and China all tumbling.
All but one stock listed on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average retreated, while the country’s Topix index posted its steepest decline since March losing around $207 billion in market value, falling 3.5%. China’s Shanghai Composite sank 5.2%, its biggest drop since February 2016 to close at its lowest since November 2014, while the Hang Seng Index lost 3.5%. Taiwan’s Taiex index led the rout with a 6.3% slump.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index had its worst day since June 2016, when the U.K. voted to leave the EU, with the index plunging 3.5% and closing in on entering a bear market.
Turbulence spiked in Asian markets as the Nikkei Stock Average Volatility Index surged 44%. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index ex Japan closed down 3.6%, hitting its lowest level since March 2017. China’s main indexes had slumped over 5 percent
The Asian regional benchmark gauge has slumped 13 percent this year as uncertainties such as the U.S.-China trade war weigh on investor sentiment. The Shanghai Composite Index has lost 22 percent in 2018, while Japan’s Topix is down 6.4 percent.
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