Asian stocks retreated Friday as Chinas antitrust crackdown weighed on technology firms, while U.S. equity futures fell after another record on Wall Street overnight. Treasuries and the dollar were steady. Hong Kong led regional losses and an AsiaPacific stock gauge headed for its first drop in three days. Chinese regulators imposed wideranging restrictions on the financial divisions of 13 companies, including Tencent Holdings Ltd. and ByteDance Ltd., in a broadening effort to rein in the nations tech giants.
Chinas purchasing managers surveys pointed to slowing expansion in activity, which may have added to the downbeat mood. The U.S. earlier reported 6.4 annualized growth in the first quarter, helping to propel the SP 500 to a new high. European, SP 500 and Nasdaq 100 contracts fell. Mixed earnings reports Thursday included disappointments for Ford Motor Co. and Twitter Inc., and gains for Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. Concerns about chip shortages erased an earningsdriven climb for Apple Inc.
Equity markets may be ready for a pause after a month of gains. Investors are eyeing more support for the U.S. recovery after President Joe Biden unveiled a 1.8 trillion social package in addition to his infrastructure plans. And theres no sign yet of the Federal Reserve withdrawing policy accommodation, with Chair Jerome Powell reasserting this week that hes looking for more progress in the jobs market, and that inflation pressures are likely temporary.