Asia shares plummet after Wall Street rout; Shanghai at near four-year lows

© Reuters. A man walks past a panel displaying the Hang Seng Index during morning trading in Hong Kong

By Wayne Cole and Andrew Galbraith

SYDNEY/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Asian share markets sank in a sea of red on Thursday after Wall Street suffered its worst drubbing in eight months, a conflagration of wealth that could threaten business confidence and investment across the globe.

“Equity markets are locked in a sharp sell-off, with concern around how far yields will rise, warnings from the IMF about financial stability risks and continued trade tension all driving uncertainty,” summed up analysts at ANZ.

The global plunge erased hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth. The head of the International Monetary Fund said stock market valuations have been “extremely high”.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan plummeted 3.9 percent to its lowest since March 2017.

Japan’s fell 4.4 percent, the steepest daily drop since March, while the broader lost around $230 billion in market value.

Shanghai shares dropped 4.3 percent, on track for their worst day since February 2016, to their lowest level since late 2014, while China blue chips slid 4 percent.

Shares in Taiwan were among the region’s worst-hit, with the broader index losing 6.2 percent.

“We can’t see where the bottom point will be,” said Chien Bor-yi, an analyst at Taipei-based Cathay Futures Consultant.

On Wall Street, the S&P500’s sharpest one-day fall since February wiped out around $850 billion of wealth as technology shares tumbled on fears of slowing demand.

The ended Wednesday with a loss of 3.29 percent and the 4.08 percent, while the shed 2.2 percent.

The blood letting was bad enough to attract the attention of U.S. President Donald Trump, who pointed an accusing finger at the Fed for raising interest rates.

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