AFP – Asian stocks plunged Tuesday after a record-breaking loss on Wall Street, extending a global rout as panicked investors fret over rising US borrowing costs and cash in profits after months of market euphoria.
Tokyo led a collapse throughout the region in early trade, diving more than five percent, while Hong Kong was down almost four percent at one point and Sydney sank three percent.
Dealers tracked their colleagues in New York, where the Dow suffered its worst points fall in history, wiping out all its 2018 gains, while the S&P 500 also took a beating to sit down for the year.
The heavy selling comes after months of surges fuelled by optimism over the US economy, corporate earnings and the global outlook.
While traders have been piling into equities, pushing many global indexes to record or multi-year highs, there has been growing concern on trading floors about elevated US Treasury bond yields — at four-year highs — and the likelihood of fresh Federal Reserve interest rate hikes.
The so-called Vix "fear" index more than doubled in US trade on Monday.
Among other Asian markets Singapore was 2.3 percent off, Seoul dived three percent, Taipei lost 3.7 percent, Manila plunged 2.7 percent and Shanghai gave up 2.1 percent.
– Key figures around 0200 GMT –
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 5.1 percent at 21,529.19
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 3.2 percent at 31,225.11
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 2.1 percent at 3,415.86
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.2384 from $1.2373 at 2200 GMT
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3972 from $1.3958
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 109.08 yen from 109.13 yen
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 56 cents at $63.59 per barrel
Oil – Brent North Sea: DOWN 58 cents at $67.04 per barrel
New York – DOW: DOWN 4.6 percent at 24,345.75 (close)
New York – S&P 500: DOWN 4.1 percent at 2,648.94 (close)
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 1.5 percent at 7,334.98 (close)