Asian equities tumbled on Friday after Wall Street suffered its worst day in nearly two months. Tech shares in the region were especially hard hit following the Nasdaq Composite’s 2 percent decline, while commodity-related stocks also took a beating after the dollar index rose to a four-year high overnight.
Analysts cited a combination of factors for the U.S. selloff. Losses widened following a story on a Russian draft law that would allow the seizure of foreign assets – a long-held fear of investors. That saw Germany’s DAX close below its 200-day moving average level; Berlin’s trade links with Russia mean the DAX is particularly vulnerable to Russia’s deteriorating relationship with the West.
Reports on changes in leadership at China’s central bank and expectations of higher interest rates from the Federal Reserve also weighed on sentiment, reinforced by comments from Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher. Speaking on Thursday, Fisher said a rate hike could occur in the spring of 2015.