Asian Shares Decline On Recession Worries

Asian stocks fell on Wednesday as investors fretted over high inflation and the possibility of a recession. Risk-off sentiment boosted the safe-haven dollar, while crude prices declined after a three-day rally.

Chinese shares fell sharply, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ending 1.40 percent lower at 3,361.52.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index tumbled 1.9 percent to 21,996.89 amid much uncertainty about whether a recession can be averted.

Japanese shares closed lower on fears that high inflation could cause the U.S. economy to slow significantly in the second half of the year.

The Nikkei 225 Index dropped 0.9 percent to 26,804.60, snapping a four-day rally despite upbeat retail sales data released earlier in the day. The broader Topix ended 0.7 percent lower at 1,893.57.

Tech stocks followed their U.S. peers lower, with SoftBank, Advantest and Tokyo Electron losing 1-3 percent. Tokyo Electric Power Holdings surged 5.3 percent after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called for maximum possible use of nuclear power to supply electricity.

Seoul stocks tumbled after a survey showed consumer confidence in South Korea took a hit in June. The Kospi slid 1.8 percent to 2,377.99 to snap a three-day winning streak.

Hyundai Motor plunged 5.7 percent and its affiliate Kia Corp. slumped 6.1 percent following reports of raids at their business premises in Germany and Luxembourg over the use of suspected illegal defeat devices.

Tech heavyweights SK Hynix and Samsung Electronics fell 1.4 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.

Battery giant LG Energy Solution plummeted 4.6 percent after a report that the company is reconsidering its 1.7 trillion-won (US$1.31 billion) plan to build a new battery plant in the U.S. state of Arizona.

Australian markets ended off their day’s lows after retail sales figures for May beat expectations. The benchmark S&P ASX 200 Index fell 0.9 percent to 6.700.20, declining for the first time in four sessions.

The broader All Ordinaries Index closed 1.1 percent lower at 6,877.90. Real estate and tech stocks underperformed, while banks ANZ, NAB and Westpac all ended up around 1 percent.

New Zealand shares declined as the global equity rally lost momentum. The benchmark NZX-50 Index dipped 0.5 percent to 10,958.81, with KMD Brands, formerly Kathmandu Holdings, and Tourism Holdings losing 3-4 percent.

U.S. stocks erased early gains to end sharply lower overnight after a survey showed a measure of U.S. consumer confidence deteriorated to its lowest level in over a year in June on surging inflation.

Th Dow dipped 1.6 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite tumbled 3 percent and the S&P 500 shed 2 percent.

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