Asian stocks retreated Friday as China’s antitrust crackdown weighed on technology firms, while U.S. equity futures fell after another record on Wall Street overnight. Treasuries and the dollar were steady. Hong Kong led regional losses and an Asia-Pacific stock gauge headed for its first drop in three days. Chinese regulators imposed wide-ranging restrictions on the financial divisions of 13 companies, including Tencent Holdings Ltd. and ByteDance Ltd., in a broadening effort to rein in the nation’s tech giants.
China’s purchasing managers surveys pointed to slowing expansion in activity, which may have added to the downbeat mood. The U.S. earlier reported 6.4% annualized growth in the first quarter, helping to propel the S&P 500 to a new high. European, S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 contracts fell. Mixed earnings reports Thursday included disappointments for Ford Motor Co. and Twitter Inc., and gains for Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. Concerns about chip shortages erased an earnings-driven climb for Apple Inc.
Equity markets may be ready for a pause after a month of gains. Investors are eyeing more support for the U.S. recovery after President Joe Biden unveiled a $1.8 trillion social package in addition to his infrastructure plans. And there’s no sign yet of the Federal Reserve withdrawing policy accommodation, with Chair Jerome Powell reasserting this week that he’s looking for more progress in the jobs market, and that inflation pressures are likely temporary.
S&P 500 futures dipped 0.3% as of 6 a.m. in London. The benchmark index closed 0.7% higherNasdaq 100 contracts fell 0.4%, after the index rose 0.5%Japan’s Topix Index edged down 0.4%Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.5%Hang Seng Index slid 1.5%South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.9%Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.9%
The euro was little changed at $1.2117The British pound was at $1.3945The Japanese yen edged up 0.1% to 108.80 per dollarThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steady
The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 1.64%Australia’s 10-year yield rose about three basis points to 1.74%
West Texas Intermediate crude traded just below $65 a barrelGold dipped 0.2% to $1,768.95 an ounce