FILE - This July 15, 2013, file photo, shows a sign for Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Monday, March 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Asian shares slump after US technology drop on Facebook news

March 19, 2018 - 10:56 pm

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares slumped Tuesday, as pessimism followed an overnight drop in New York amid a rout in technology companies.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 dropped nearly 1.0 percent in morning trading to 21,273.04. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slipped nearly 0.6 percent to 5,924.00, while South Korea's Kospi shed 0.4 percent to 2,465.43. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.7 percent at 31,304.29, while the Shanghai Composite edged down 0.4 percent to 3,266.69

FACEBOOK DROP: The technology drop on Wall Street was set off by Facebook's worst loss in four years. The social media giant's plunge followed reports that Cambridge Analytica, a data mining firm working for President Donald Trump's campaign, improperly obtained data on 50 million Facebook users without their permission. Legislators in the U.S. and Europe criticized Facebook, and investors are wondering if companies like Facebook and Alphabet will face tighter regulation.

WALL STREET: The S&P 500 index sank 39.09 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,712.92. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 335.60 points, or 1.3 percent, to 24,610.91. The Nasdaq composite gave up 137.74 points, or 1.8 percent, to 7,344.24. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks declined 15.49 points, or 1 percent, to 1,570.56.

FEDERAL RESERVE: The U.S. Federal Reserve's first meeting under Jerome Powell's leadership ends later this week, likely with an announcement that the Fed will resume modest interest rate hikes. A healthy U.S. job market and a relatively steady economy have given the Fed the confidence to think the economy can withstand further increases. And the financial markets have been edgy for weeks.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 19 cents to $62.32 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 17 cents to $62.22 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar recovered to 106.21 yen from 105.92 yen late Monday. The euro rose to $1.2346 from $1.2267.


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