BANGKOK — Asian shares were mostly higher Friday after a historic plunge in the stock price of Facebook’s parent company helped yank other tech stocks lower on Wall Street.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng
jumped 2.7% after reopening from Lunar New Year holidays. The Nikkei 225
in Tokyo edged 0.1% higher while South Korea’s Kospi
advanced 0.8%. In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200
declined 0.1%. Benchmark indexes in Singapore
advanced. Shanghai remained closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.
Trading has been muted this week, with Chinese markets closed and coronavirus cases still surging in Asia, especially in Japan and Hong Kong,
Thursday’s retreat in New York ended a four-day winning streak for the market.
The 26.4% wipeout by Meta Platforms
as Facebook’s owner is now known, erased more than $230 billion in market value, easily the biggest one-day loss in history for a U.S. company. The stocks of other social media companies including Twitter and Snap also fell.
Because Meta is valued so highly, a big swing in its stock price can also sink or lift broader market indexes. The S&P 500
fell 2.4%, its biggest drop in nearly a year, to 4,477.44.
The tech-focused Nasdaq composite
gave up 3.7%, its biggest loss since September 2020, closing at 13,878.82. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
which does not include Meta Platforms, fell 1.5% to 35,111.16.
soared 54% and Pinterest
vaulted 28% in after-market trading after each reported better-than-expected results. Amazon.com
jumped 14% in after-hours trading after reporting strong fourth-quarter results despite supply chain snags.
Big technology and communications companies played a big role in driving gains for the broader market throughout the pandemic and much of the recovery in 2021. But investors have been shifting money in expectation of rising interest rates, which make shares in high-flying tech companies and other expensive growth stocks relatively less attractive.
Investors are watching for the latest update on the recovering U.S. jobs market. The Labor Department will release its monthly report for January on Friday.
Bond yields rose sharply on Thursday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which is used as a benchmark to set interest rates on mortgages and many other kinds of loans, rose to 1.84% from 1.76% late…