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Asian shares unsettled by Wall Street swoon, short seller squeeze

Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.3%, its sharpest drop since October, and Chinese blue chips 1.5%. South Korea eased 0.9% led by losses in Samsung after it reported earnings.

January 28, 2021 / 08:38 AM IST

Asian shares slid on Thursday while the safe-haven dollar rallied as a sudden sell-off on Wall Street and delays with coronavirus vaccines shook investor optimism about an early recovery for the global economy.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.2%, with valuations looking stretched given the index had risen more than 6% just this month.

Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.3%, its sharpest drop since October, and Chinese blue chips 1.5%. South Korea eased 0.9% led by losses in Samsung after it reported earnings.

Even the tech darlings were not immune with Facebook down despite reporting earnings well above expectations. Apple Inc also handily beat forecasts, yet its shares lost 3% after the bell.