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Stocks Drop on Tech U.S. Treasury Yield Steadies

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Asian equities dropped as technology shares came under earnings-related pressure and materials shares fell. Treasuries steadied after the global climb in yields that gripped markets early in 2018 made a comeback.

Stocks in China underperformed with those in Hong Kong and Korea also falling. Shares in Tokyo fluctuated as the yen weakened. Tech shares were the region’s biggest losers after Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s disappointing forecast rekindled concerns the handset boom is waning. Australian and Japanese bonds tracked losses overnight in government debt markets from the U.K. to Germany and the U.S., where 10-year Treasury yields breached 2.90 percent. The dollar extended this week’s advance and sterling slipped on reported disagreements in Brexit negotiations on the Irish border.

While investors debate the cause of the decline in sovereign debt, bond market gauges showed an increase in expectations for U.S. inflation after recent torrid gains in metals from aluminum to nickel. Trade remains in focus with the U.S. Treasury Department considering using an emergency law to curb Chinese investments in sensitive technologies.

Elsewhere, the Indian rupee weakened to the lowest since March 2017 and bonds slumped after minutes from the country’s central bank most recent meeting showed an unexpected hawkish tilt. Oil prices drifted.

Here are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dipped 0.7 percent as of 3:06 p.m. Tokyo time.

Topix index added 0.1 percent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.6 percent.

Kospi index declined 0.5 percent.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 0.3 percent.

Futures on the S&P 500 Index fell less than 0.05 percent.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.1 percent.

The Japanese yen fell 0.2 percent to 107.61 per dollar.

The euro fell less than 0.05 percent to $1.234.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose less than one basis point to 2.91 percent.

Japan’s 10-year yield climbed over one basis points to 0.055 percent.

Australia’s 10-year yield rose three basis points to 2.812 percent.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.3 percent to $68.09 a barrel.

Gold fell 0.2 percent to $1,342.36 an ounce.

LME copper fell 0.4 percent to $6,957.50 per metric ton.

Sources: Bloomberg