Falling tech shares hit Asian markets

Guy Bentley
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Asian markets have taken a hit from a combination of declining Japanese tech shares and a stronger yen.

The fall in tech shares follows similar moves seen on Wall Street and comes ahead of e-commerce giant Alibaba's initial public offering, widely expected to be one of the biggest offerings ever seen.

However, it is not all bad news as investors welcomed Friday's US jobs report, which showed nonfarm payrolls coming in at 192,000 for March.

February's jobs number also saw a big upward revision from 175,000 to 197,000. The report signalled further good news, with private employment rising above the pre-recession peak for the first time.

The numbers boosted optimism over the strength of the US recovery but not so much to raise expectations of a tightening of Federal Reserve policy.

The Nikkei is down 1.4 per cent, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index is taking a hit of 0.5 per cent. Japan's Topix has fallen by 1.2 per cent so far, with South Korea's Kospi down by a more modest 0.2 per cent. However, the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index is up by 0.7 per cent.