SYDNEY, Australia - Stocks in Asia tanked on Friday as the U.S. took a big stick to China again, banning transactions for the owners of TikiTok and WeChat. The U.S. Senate passed a bill separately banning the use of TikiTok on U.S. federal government devices, while Trump advisers are urging the president to order the delisting from U.S. stock exchanges, Chinese companies that fail to meet auditing standards.
"Perhaps China could block Apple or Microsoft from China. The information sector growingly looks divided into two camps. We could be seeing just the beginning of an information technology war," Nana Otsuki, chief analyst at Monex Securities told the Reuters Thomson news agency Friday.
"Investors in the West would have to hesitate to invest in China, missing growth opportunities there when there are not many investment opportunities except perhaps for Nasdaq."
China's Shanghai Composite, which had posted gains for the previous five trading sessions, dropped 32.43 points or 0.96% to 3,354.94.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 shed 88.21 points or 0.39% to 22,329.94.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng dived 398.96 points or 1.60% to 24,531.62.
The Australian All Ordinaries declined 35.40 points or 0.57% to 6,104.90.
The U.S. dollar remained under pressure however most currencies spent the day Friday consolidating around recent levels. The Australian dollar however was in demand, ratcheting up to 0.7220 by the Sydney close.
The euro was changing hands at 1.1836. The British pound was a tad softer at 1.3109. The Japanese yen was unchanged at 105.58 The Swiss franc edged up to 0.9112.
The Canadian dollar was weaker at 1.33.47. The New Zealand dollar was softer at 0.6643.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was ahead 185.46 points, or 0.68%, at 27,386.98.
The Standard and Poor's 500 rose 21.39 points, or 0.64%, to 3,349.16.
The Nasdaq Composite did best, gaining 109.67 points, or 1%, to 11,108.07.