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Tech Selloff Extends Into Asia – The Wall Street Journal

A technology-led selloff extended into global markets Tuesday, with concerns about rising interest rates, high valuations and regulatory risk weighing on highflying internet companies.

U.S. stock futures fell, suggesting American markets could come under fresh pressure on Tuesday after falling in the previous session. By early afternoon Hong Kong time, Nasdaq 100 futures stood 1.0% lower, while S&P 500 futures declined 0.5%.

Asian markets were following their U.S. peers lower as concerns built about quickening inflation, even as U.S. monetary policy was easy and tech shares had grown more expensive, said Grace Tam, chief investment adviser for BNP Paribas Wealth Management in Hong Kong.

Ms. Tam said those worries were exacerbated by Chinese regulators’ tougher stance toward its tech giants. “The overall sentiment on Chinese tech firms has been weak,” she said.

Investors worry that surging inflation could force the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise rates sooner than it currently expects. Prices of commodities such as copper, crude oil, iron ore and lumber have jumped and a survey Monday showed U.S. households’ expectations of inflation a year from now hit 3.4% in April, the highest reading since September 2013.

Higher interest rates tend to weigh most on the valuations of fast-growing companies—such as tech firms—since their worth depends in large part on forecast profits years from now. The Fed, under Chairman Jerome Powell, has stressed it won’t be swayed by one-off price increases driven by economic reopening.

By early afternoon Hong Kong time, the local benchmark Hang Seng Index had lost 2.2%. Indexes across the region pulled back, with declines ranging from 0.3% for the Shanghai Composite to 2.9% for Taiwan’s Taiex.

Meituan, the Chinese food-delivery giant, plunged by 7.9%, building on a 7.1% decline in the previous session, as investors reassessed its chances of coming under greater regulatory scrutiny.

Also in Hong Kong, Tencent Holdings Ltd. retreated 2.9% and the Hang Seng Tech index lost 3.8%. Among the region’s other large tech stocks, Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. fell more than 5%, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. dropped 2.7%.

On Monday, the Nasdaq Composite shed 2.5% and the S&P retreated 1%, with semiconductor companies among the biggest individual decliners.

U.S. Treasury bond prices rose Tuesday. That pushed yields, which move in the opposite direction, slightly lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note declined to 1.593%, according to Tradeweb, down from 1.601% on Monday.

Write to Xie Yu at [email protected]

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