Asian markets plunge, led by tech stocks, after Huawei exec’s arrest

Asian stock prices fell Thursday, led by tumbling tech stocks, following the arrest of a senior official at Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei that could derail progress in China-U.S. trade talks.

Canadian authorities arrested the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies for possible extradition to the United States, for allegedly violating sanctions against Iran. Meng Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Saturday, but the news is only recently being released.

U.S. stock market futures dropped, with Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMZ8, -1.33%   down more than 300 points, or 1.4%. S&P 500 futures ESZ8, -1.24%   and Nasdaq Composite futures NQZ8, -1.64%   were each down more than 1%, and CME Group triggered circuit breakers in futures trading to avoid worse losses.

“We are closely watching the developments in Asia after reports that Canada has arrested the Huawei CFO facing U.S. extradition for allegedly violating Iran sanctions. This headline is quite significant as the U.S. government is attempting to persuade allies to stop using Huawei equipment due to security fears, and this headline could weigh negatively on tech stocks,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading at Oanda in Singapore.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -2.66%   plunged 2.7% Thursday, with tech stocks taking the brunt. Tencent 0700, -4.30%  was off more than 4%, while AAC 2018, -5.68%   and Sunny Optical 2382, -6.08%  each fell around 6%.

Stocks in mainland China dropped as well, with the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -1.55%   down 1.6% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite 399106, -2.00%   off 2.7%.

Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -2.37%   fell 2.2%, with Nintendo 7974, -4.36%   and SoftBank 9984, -5.52%  each down more than 4%. South Korea’s Kospi SEU, -1.62%   fell 1.5%, with Samsung 005930, -2.29%   down over 2% and SK Hynix 000660, -3.51%   falling over 3%. Taiwan’s benchmark Y9999, -2.34%   sank more than 2%, and Singapore stocks STI, -1.25%   fell more than 1%.

Losses were less severe in Australia, where the ASX 200 XJO, -0.19%  was down 0.2%, while New Zealand’s benchmark NZ50GR, -0.27%   edged down 0.3%.

Meanwhile, benchmark U.S. crude CLF9, -0.98%  lost 1% to $52.36 a barrel. Brent crude LCOG9, -0.83%  , used to price international oils, declined 0.8% to $61.09.

The dollar USDJPY, -0.40%   slipped to 112.72 yen from 113.19 yen.


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