HONG KONG – Asian markets followed Wall Street significantly lower on Thursday as investors feared that a string of good news that had spurred the purchase for a long time came to an end.
The region recorded a significant decline with China, Japan and Hong Kong, South Korea and other markets roughly reflecting a 3 percent decline in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index in the United States on Wednesday.
It was unclear how far the sell-off would go. While European equities seemed to be lower, futures markets following US equities edged up slightly, suggesting that Wall Street could trade more positively on Thursday morning.
The decline in Asia was longer and more pronounced. Due to some measures, the region has entered bear market areas, which means that it has fallen by 20 percent or more. A broader index of equities in the Asia-Pacific region, observed by MSCI, an investment information company, fell a fifth on Thursday from a late January high.
Asian equities were faster this year to reflect investor concerns about the global economy's health. China's growth is slowing down, which could slow down activities across the region, if not the world. Concerns over the impact of President Trump's growing trade deal with China have also pushed share prices down, although the actual damage to the Chinese economy has been modest so far.
Even the technology companies in the region, especially in China, where stock market buyers once led Internet giants such as Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings to be on par with Silicon Valley giants like Facebook. On Thursday, Alibaba and Tencent were among the companies whose shares were significantly lost.
In South Korea, investors reacted negatively to a forecast by SK Hynix, a major manufacturer of microchips, who warned prices for a chip known as Flash, the memory would continue to fall into the next year, as the smartphone demand wears off. Flash memory chips are used in smartphones and a range of mobile devices, and the demand for these components is considered to be a rough substitute for the health of the technology hardware sector.