US Stocks - Profit-Taking Continues as High-Flying Tech Shares Remain Under Pressure

Asian shares were mixed Friday following a selloff of technology shares on Wall Street

Asian shares were mixed Friday following a selloff of technology shares on Wall Street

The S&P 500 opened higher by 13.60 points, or 0.40 percent, at 3,412.56.

US stocks rose at the start of Wednesday's trade, looking to rebound from their recent bout of weakness that saw the tech-heavy Nasdaq index log its fastest move from record to correction in history.

Wednesday's positive moves came despite news that AstraZeneca's late-stage trial of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate had been paused as a result of a suspected serious adverse reaction in a participant. The drugmaker's shares were down 2%.

The Kospi in Seoul advanced 0.8% to 2,396.23 and Sydney's ASX-S&P 500 gained 0.5% to 5,909.90.

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US Treasury bond yields extended declines as investors sought the safety of holding government debt.

"The risk now is that the euro could lift after the ECB meeting, if that is the case and there is more confidence", said Commonwealth Bank of Australia currency analyst Kim Mundy, something that would pull other currencies higher on the dollar.

A sell-off in high-flying U.S. technology shares has increased the risk of a larger correction across other markets. "That 7.6 per cent fall will certainly be resonating". Tesla shares jumped 6.8% after falling 21% on Tuesday, while Apple recovered 2.7% after falling about 8%.

"On the one hand, the slide in the share price is due to its non-inclusion in the S&P 500, but on the other hand the slide is also a normalisation of the company's valuation", Frank Schwope, an analyst at NORD/LB, said.

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SoftBank has fallen about 12 percent since sources told Reuters and other media late last week that it built up stakes in major USA tech companies - which have surged in recent months - worth approximately $4bn.

The S&P 500 posted no new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the NASDAQ Composite recorded 28 new highs and 45 new lows.

United States stocks resumed their climb on Thursday, as demand for cheaper tech-related stocks and hopes of further coronavirus aid from the government overshadowed economic data that pointed to a choppy rebound.

Escalating concerns over Britain leaving the European Union without a trade agreement are weighing on sterling.

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A year ago, in an unprecedented ruling, Britain's highest court found his decision to suspend parliament was unlawful . This is "a really unwelcome distraction, which is hugely problematic and illegal", he added.

"I think we should start to anticipate a rotation, the momentum behind tech is going to ease", Seema Shah, a chief strategist at Principal Global Investors, told the Wall Street Journal. Brent crude, oil's global benchmark, rose 3.6%, to $41.20 per barrel, at intraday highs.

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