Published:  02:56 AM, 07 December 2017

Asian markets tumble on sell-off in tech firms

Technology and energy firms were the biggest losers as Hong Kong and Tokyo led an Asian market plunge on Wednesday, extending retreats across Europe and New York.

A global equity rally has hit the buffers this week as the US probe into Russia's alleged election meddling sows uncertainty, Britain struggles to reach a Brexit deal with the European Union and traders remain cautious about Washington's ability to push through tax cuts.

A key drag for Asia on Wednesday was copper prices which sank more than four percent in London, having already lost about 10 percent over the previous week. Analysts blamed a pick-up in the dollar on hopes for US tax cuts. There are also worries about China's crackdown on borrowing-fuelled investing.

"The sentiment in China has turned less positive after the conclusion of the national party congress, as the deleveraging rhetoric has returned to the market, especially with regards to real estate speculation," TD Securities commodity strategist Ryan McKay told Bloomberg News.

"Worries of the deleveraging's impact on real estate and construction demand saw optimism for commodity demand reduced and prices retreat." Oil prices were hit by data showing a big rise in US inventories. Sydney-listed miner Rio Tinto shed 2.5 percent and BHP was two percent off, while energy giant Woodside Petroleum lost 0.3 percent.

-AFP, Hong Kong

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