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Tech jitters continue to weigh on world stocks

Associated Press
People walk by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, May 7, 2014. A dismal day on Wall Street spilled over into Asian trading Wednesday as jitters over the valuations of technology companies contributed to a sharp drop in Japan's benchmark. The Nikkei 225 stock index fell 2.3 percent to 14,120.25. Japanese markets were closed the previous two days for public holidays. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

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LONDON (AP) — Jitters over the valuations of technology companies pulled world stock prices lower on Wednesday, mainly in Asia and the U.S.

Investors in Internet company shares remained cautious after sharp drops the day before. Twitter's share price fell another 3.8 percent after an 18 percent plunge the day before.

European markets were somewhat more stable amid hopes that Russia was softening its stance over Ukraine, which has become increasingly unstable as pro-Russian militants clash with military forces.

Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.1 percent at 6,790.73 but Germany's DAX was up 0.7 percent at 9,534.06 despite figures showing a slump in industrial orders. The CAC-40 in France rose 0.4 percent to 4,446.08.

In the U.S., the Dow was 0.2 percent lower at 16,372.77 while the S&P 500 shed 0.3 percent to 1,862.06. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was 1.3 percent lower at 4,027.35.

In Asia, the Nikkei 225 stock index sank 2.9 percent to 14,033.45 as the U.S. dollar's relative weakness against the Japanese yen hit exporter shares. It was the first day of trading in Japan after a long weekend.

Softbank tumbled 5.1 percent in Tokyo after Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba released some details of a planned U.S. initial public offering that analysts say could raise up to $20 billion. Softbank owns 36.7 percent of Alibaba.

Though the IPO is expected to net Softbank handsome returns, the recent slump in technology shares has shaken confidence.

"Whether the market reaction and the IPO valuation will be high or not is still the major concern," said Linus Yip, a strategist for First Shanghai Securities in Hong Kong. "The listing of Alibaba right now, may not be such good timing."

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea's Kospi lost 1 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.1 percent. Shares in Australia, Singapore, China, India and Taiwan fell while Indonesian and New Zealand shares edged higher.

In other markets, benchmark U.S. crude for June delivery was up 59 cents to $100.09 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In currency trading, the euro slipped 0.1 percent to $1.3921 while the dollar was steady against the Japanese yen, at 101.71 yen.

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