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Asia stock markets sell off; Hong Kong’s Hang Seng down nearly 3% and Tencent shares plunge more than 7%

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific slipped Thursday morning after heavy losses on Wall Street overnight.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped 2.63% in early trade while the Topix index shed 2.31%. Japan’s exports rose 12.5% year-on-year in April, data from the country’s Ministry of Finance showed Thursday. That was lower than expectations for a 13.8% increase, according to Reuters.

South Korea’s Kospi dropped 1.93%, while the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia slipped 0.78%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.65% lower.

Australia’s jobs data for April is expected to be released at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN today.

Major indexes on Wall Street tumbled, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing at its lowest since March 2021. The Dow dropped 1,164.52 points, or 3.57%, to 31,490.07.

The S&P 500 slipped 4.04% to 4,923.68, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 4.73% to 11,418.15.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 103.823 — off levels below 103.5 seen earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 127.92 per dollar, stronger than levels above 129 seen yesterday against the greenback. The Australian dollar was at $0.6961 after a recent decline from levels above $0.70.

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