Nikkei tumbles while markets in China, Hong Kong rebound

Japanese markets tumbled Friday as they reopened after the New Year holidays, while other Asian indexes were mixed after a technology-led sell-off on Wall Street.

The Nikkei 225 index NIK, -2.26%   was last down 2.8%, after earlier falling more than 3% as technology and electronics makers slumped in the first trading day of 2019 for Tokyo. SoftBank 9984, -2.89% and Sony 6758, -2.70%   fell around 4%, and Fast Retailing 9983, -5.45%   dropped 6%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI, +2.24%   rallied 1.2%, as oil producer CNOOC 0883, +5.23%   rose 4% and telecom China Mobile 0941, +3.64%   gained 2.5%. Apple suppliers continued to sink, with AAC 2018, -0.73%   and Sunny Optical 2382, +0.16%   down more than 2% each.

Stocks jumped in mainland China, as the Shanghai Composite index SHCOMP, +2.05%   added 1.8% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite 399106, +2.66%   surged 2.2%.

Traders cheered a private survey released Friday showing that China’s services sector expanded in December. China’s Caixin Services PMI, a survey of service industry purchasing managers, had a reading of 53.9 in December, a six-month high. This was slightly higher than November’s reading of 53.8. The survey comes on the back of weak manufacturing data earlier in the week.

Investors also were encouraged by news that the U.S. and China will hold trade talks in Beijing on Jan. 7 and 8. The U.S. delegation will be led by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, a Commerce Ministry statement said Friday.

South Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.83%  , which has a high number of tech stocks, added 0.4% after Thursday’s lower close, though Samsung 005930, -0.40%  declined. Australia’s ASX 200 XJO, -0.25%   fell, as did Taiwan’s benchmark Y9999, -1.16%  , while Singapore’s Strait Times Index STI, +1.54%   rose almost 1%.


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