SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific looked set for a lower open on Wednesday after overnight losses saw the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite sliding to a fresh low for 2022.
Futures pointed to a lower open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 26,125 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 26,000. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 26,700.11.
Australian stocks also looked poised for a lower start, with the SPI futures contract at 7,170, against the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 7,318. Australia’s consumer inflation data for the first quarter is set to be out at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Wednesday.
Investors will watch technology stocks in the region after their peers stateside saw heavy losses overnight, with the Nasdaq Composite dropping 3.95% to 12,490.74. The index now sits deeper in bear market territory, at around 23% off its high.
Other indexes on Wall Street also saw sizable losses, with the S&P 500 falling 2.81% to 4,175.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 809.28 points, or 2.38%, to 33,240.18.
Elsewhere, the Covid situation in mainland China may continue to weigh on investor sentiment regionally as authorities stick to a zero-Covid policy. Mass testing recently began in China’s capital city of Beijing after a spike in Covid cases was reported over the weekend. That comes as much of Shanghai remains under prolonged lockdown.
“The fear that Beijing is about to join Shanghai in lockdown is palpable,” Ray Attrill, head of foreign exchange strategy at National Australia Bank, wrote in a note.
China’s industrial profits for March is set to be out at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Wednesday.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 102.303 — above levels below 100.8 seen last week.
The Japanese yen traded at 127.26 per dollar, stronger as compared with levels above 128.1 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7141, off levels above $0.72 seen yesterday.