By Wayne Cole and Swati Pandey
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian shares dived on Thursday as hundreds of billions of dollars haemorrhaged from global markets after a rout in tech stocks inflicted the largest daily decline on Wall Street since 2011, wiping out all its gains for the year.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> fell 0.7 percent. Japan's Nikkei <.N225> slumped more than 3 percent to hit a six-month trough and Australian shares <.AXJO> skidded about 2 percent to a more than one-year low.
Tokyo's Topix index <.TOPX> tumbled 3 percent, evaporating $155 billion in market value in the first 15 minutes of trading.
The dive in formerly high-flying U.S. tech stocks sent investors scampering to the safety of sovereign bonds, with yields in 10-year Treasuries
"Weak U.S. housing data, mixed corporate earnings results, trade war fears and concerns regarding a slowing global economy all contributed to the sell off," Sydney-based Rivkin Securities said in a morning note to clients.
"Investor sentiment remains cautious as we anticipate the reports of over 100 S&P 500 companies including Amazon
Weak readings on manufacturing in Europe added to angst over world growth, as did a surprise slump in U.S. home sales, which suggested rising mortgage rates were sapping demand for housing.
Adding to the air of tension, police intercepted suspected bombs mailed to former U.S. President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other high-profile Democrats, as well as to CNN, in what New York officials branded an act of terrorism.
The growing international pressure on Saudi Arabia over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi also weighed on investor sentiment.
On Wall Street, disappointing forecasts from chipmakers hammered the tech sector. They followed weaker-than-expected forecasts on Tuesday from industrial giants Caterpillar
The Nasdaq <.IXIC> closed down 12.4 percent from its Aug. 29 record closing high, falling 4.4 percent for the day in its biggest one-day percentage decline since Aug. 18, 2011.
In dollar terms, the Nasdaq vaporised $524 billion in market capitalisation overnight.
The Dow <.DJI > fell 2.41 percent and the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 3.09 percent.
According to data analysed by Reuters, the proportion of stocks, regions and sectors that are technically in a bear market has shot up since the start of January, prompting some analysts to conclude the bull run may already be over.
"Consensus across Citi trading floors is that recent price action is very much driven by sentiment and short-term positioning," Citibank analysts said in a note.
"It will be the price action, less the earnings results themselves, that will indicate to investors that it might be safe to go back in the water."
In foreign exchange markets, client participation on both spot and options was fairly light, Citi noted.
Funds flowed to the U.S. dollar and Treasuries and out of the euro and the British pound.
The euro shed 0.7 percent to $1.1397
Against a basket of currencies, the dollar paused near a nine-week peak and was last trading at 96.351 <.DXY>.
Sterling hit a seven-week trough $1.2865
The yen got the usual safe-haven bid, with the euro skidding to a two-month low at 127.68 yen
Oil prices slipped amid concerns over global growth.
(Editing by Sam Holmes)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
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Updated Date: Oct 25, 2018 07:05:06 IST