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Japanese Stocks Routed, Kosdaq Collapses As Global Stocks React To Wall Street Turmoil

So you tell me: "healthy correction" or "global rout"?

You can probably make an argument that things could have been worse overnight because Asia didn’t close too far from where things stood a couple of hours after the open.

The Hang Seng and H-shares managed to trim a harrowing opening gap lower and indeed the latter very nearly managed to close green, but what’s notable is the extent to which Hong Kong looks vulnerable after a streak where it seemed like stocks could only go up. Have a look at the daily change chart in the bottom panel:

HangSeng

In South Korea, the Kospi managed to escape without incurring too much damage (it was down 1.3% at the close), but the Kosdaq was a goddamn bloodbath with losses accelerating after a South Korean high court suspended Samsung vice chairman Jay Y. Lee’s sentence in a bribery scandal. As Bloomberg notes, “the release of Lee affected small-cap stocks, as there were some fund managers who sold shares of Samsung Electronics to buy Kosdaq stocks, and now they are returning money to Samsung.” Here’s a look at the Kosdaq and the Kospi in February:

Kosdaq

You should note that the Kosdaq was the world-beater in January:

Asia

In Japan, losses did not abate as the session wore on. This was the worst day for the Nikkei since the U.S. election:

Nikkei

Notably, today’s losses make 2018 a complete wash for the Nikkei and the Topix:

Japan

So you tell me: “healthy correction” or “global rout”?

Because both of those descriptors are being bandied about on Monday morning and which one you prefer is probably a reflection of how you’re positioned and also of your penchant for confirmation bias.

 

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