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FANGS and BATS sell-off spooks world stocks

FANGS and BATS sell-off spooks world stocks

FILE PHOTO: Photographers take photos near a large screen showing stock prices at the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) after market opens in Tokyo, Japan October 2, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

LONDON: Global stock markets were set for a second day of sharp losses on Tuesday as the combination of inflation worries and an anti-monopoly drive in China sent the world's mightiest tech giants tumbling.

Europe had touched a record high on Monday but its restart was a sea of red as London's FTSE, Frankfurt's DAX and the CAC 40 in Paris all dropped roughly 2per cent.

Asia's main regional equity gauges had suffered their biggest slide in nearly two months overnight, with Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng both closing down 3per cent.

With talk of tighter regulation from Beijing, Chinese tech heavyweights Baidu, Alibaba Tencent, collectively dubbed the BATs, all dropped more than 3per cent. Food delivery major Meituan tumbled as much as 9.8per cent too, leaving its value US$30 billion lower in a week.

It had followed a 3.6per cent slump in the U.S. FANG+ index of megacap tech firms on Monday. Electric car pioneer Tesla had skidded 6.4per cent and Google fell 2.5per cent.

"The underlying driver is that there is still a rotation out of duration (higher interest rate) sensitive parts of the market and this is why tech stocks are coming under pressure now," said Mizuho's Head of multi-asset strategy Peter Chatwell.

"Given the rise in the earnings power of these firms different governments will also seek to raise more tax revenue from them in the coming years."

INFLATION ANGST

The cost of raw materials from copper to wood to wheat have been soaring over the last month, testing the views of top central bankers that rises in inflation will be transitory as economies emerge from COVID lockdowns.

U.S. breakeven rates, which factor in inflation, have scaled multi-year peaks. Most euro zone bond yields edged back up on Tuesday while a market gauge of long-term inflation expectations was nearing its highest in over two years.

A host of Federal Reserve and European Central bank speakers this week will be closely watched by markets to assess how authorities are likely to respond.

A test case on U.S. inflation will come when the Labor Department releases consumer price index report on Wednesday.

"Inflation's shadow looms large and we do think that there is a limit to the Fed's tolerance of inflation," DBS Bank said in a note.

In currency markets speculation that growing price pressure would erode the dollar's value kept the U.S. currency near a 2-1/2-month low.

A consolidation in commodity markets after their surge on Monday kept the Australian dollar just below a two-month high at US$0.7827. The Canadian dollar stabilised near a four-year high, while the New Zealand dollar perched comfortably at February highs.

Oil prices gave up earlier gains as concerns that rising COVID-19 cases in Asia will dampen demand outweighed expectations that a major U.S. fuel pipeline could restart swiftly.

U.S. crude dipped 0.66per cent to US$64.49 a barrel. Brent crude fell to US$67.84 per barrel.

Metal markets saw copper prices start to nudge higher again. They were last at US$10,470 a tonne having hit a record high US$10,747.50 the previous session. Iron ore had settled too after surging 7per cent on Monday.

(Additional reporting by Tom Westbrook in Singapore, Editing by Gabriela Baczynska)

Source: Reuters

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