Asia markets down; fears of rising rates hit investors

  • Stocks tumbled overnight on Wall Street, amid the 10-year Treasury yield touching its highest point since May 2011.
  • On Thursday, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence accused China of "malign influence and interference" in attempting to sway the elections against the Republicans in retaliation for President Donald Trump's trade policies.

Asia markets saw broad declines on the final trading day of the week, following a tumble overnight on Wall Street.

The Nikkei 225 was down by 0.8 percent to close at 23,783.72, while the Topix index slipped by 0.47 percent to 1,792.65.

In South Korea, the Kospi slid 0.31 percent to close at 2,267.52, as shares of heavyweight Samsung Electronics ended largely flat despite earlier saying that its third-quarter operating profit was likely to have risen to a record high.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slid by 0.19 percent to close at 26,572.57, with computer maker Lenovo's stock dropping by 15.1 percent.

Down Under, the ASX 200 bucked the overall trend to edge up 0.15 percent to close at 6,185.5, with the energy sector also higher by 0.15 percent. Oil and gas explorer Beach Energy, which had earlier announced the sale of a 40 percent stake in its Victorian Otway gas assets and trimmed its earnings guidance for fiscal year 2019, saw its stock fall by 3.65 percent.

China's markets were closed for the Golden Week holiday.

Stocks of Apple suppliers in Asia fall

Shares of Apple suppliers saw broad declines on the back of a report by Bloomberg BusinessWeek claiming that Chinese spy chips may have been present in hardware used by Amazon Web Services and Apple. The report alleged that the chips could have been introduced by a Chinese server company called Super Micro. Both companies have disputed the report.

The shares of electronic parts maker TDK dropped by 4.79 percent on Friday, while component supplier Murata Manufacturing declined by 3.9 percent. Lens maker Largan Precision was among those who saw the largest percentage declines, dropping 7.28 percent.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
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HSI
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ASX 200
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SHANGHAI
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KOSPI
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CNBC 100
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Wall Street moves overnight

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 200.91 points to 26,627.48, while the S&P 500 slid by 0.8 percent to 2,901.61. The Nasdaq Composite saw its largest daily drop since Jun. 25, as it fell by 1.8 percent to 7,879.51.

Interest rates hit new multiyear highs, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield touching its highest level since May 2011, crossing the 3.2 percent mark.

The sudden rise in yields came on the back of positive U.S. private payrolls data for September on Wednesday, while the Institute for Supply Management non-manufacturing index also reached a record level. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell had hinted at more rate hikes, after he said it was a "long way" from neutral on interest rates.

Pence takes aim at China

In an address at Washington's Hudson Institute, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence accused China of "malign influence and interference," saying that the country was waging a sophisticated effort to sway the elections against the Republicans in retaliation for President Donald Trump's trade policies, according to a Reuters report.

The vice president's comments follow Trump's own accusations of Beijing attempting to meddle in the upcoming midterm elections.

Neither Trump nor Pence has provided hard evidence of the alleged meddling, while China rejected the president's claims from late September.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of peers, was at 95.812 as of 3:33 p.m. HK/SIN, rising further off its lows from yesterday.

The Japanese yen saw a slight gain at 113.80 against the dollar, while the Australian dollar declined 0.21 percent at $0.7057, as of 3:34 p.m. HK/SIN.

In oil markets, prices saw extended gains in the afternoon of Asian trade. As of 3:35 p.m. HK/SIN, the global benchmark Brent crude futures contract climbed 0.54 percent to $85.04 per barrel, while the U.S crude futures contract gained 0.69 percent to $74.84 per barrel.

— CNBC's Fred Imbert and Reuters contributed to this report.