Stock market today: Asian stocks mixed after tech shares pull Wall Street lower

Feb 21, 2024

HONG KONG (AP) — World stocks were mixed Wednesday after technology shares led Wall Street broadly lower on Tuesday, with investors waiting for chipmaker Nvidia’s quarterly earnings report.

The report, which will come out later in the day, will put stock markets in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan on alert as these three regions contributed over 45% of Nvidia’s revenues in the third quarter.

Germany’s DAX added 0.1% to 17,088.95 and the CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.1% to 7,803.29. In London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.7%, at 7,666.21.

The future for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.2%.

HSBC Holdings reported its profit before tax reached a record of $30.3 billion in 2023 on Wednesday, but still fell short of analysts’ expectations as the revenue growth was offset by the recognition of an impairment charge of $3 billion relating to the investment in a Chinese bank. HSBC’s Hong Kong-listed shares fell 3.8% in afternoon trading.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.6% to 16,503.10, driven by gains in its Tech Index, which advanced 2.7%. The Shanghai Composite rose nearly 1.0% to 2,950.96.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost nearly 0.2% to 38,300.00.

Japanese exports rose by a higher than expected 11.9% in January from a year earlier, driven by strong demand for chip-making machinery in China and solid gains in exports to the United States and Europe, according to data released Wednesday.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.7% to 7,608.40 despite data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing the country’s wage index increased by 4.2% compared to the same period a year before, marking the highest recorded annual increase since early 2009.

South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.2% to 2,653.31.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 fell 0.6%, coming off only its second losing week in the last 16 after a holiday on Monday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2% and the Nasdaq composite fell 0.9%.

Technology stocks, especially chip makers, were the biggest drag on the market. Nvidia slumped 4.4%. It’s still the S&P 500’s biggest gainer so far this year, rising about 40%.

At this point, Wall Street is now looking for its first rate cut to come in June, months later than earlier anticipated. Investors have to wait until next week for another key update on inflation. That’s when the government will release its monthly report on personal consumption and expenses, the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation.

Investors have a relatively light week of economic news. Data on home sales will be reported on Thursday. The housing market remains tight as demand for homes continues to outpace supply. Mortgage rates remain high, though they have been easing from their most recent peak in late October, when the average rate on a 30-year mortgage hit 7.79%.

More than 80% of companies in the S&P 500 have reported their latest results. Analysts polled by FactSet expect overall earnings growth of about 3.3% for the fourth quarter and are forecast earnings growth of about 3.6% for the current quarter.

In other trading, U.S. benchmark crude lost 36 cents to $76.69 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, gave up 36 cents to $81.98 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar rose to 150.10 Japanese yen from 150.01 yen. The euro cost $1.0793, down from $1.0807.

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