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Asia Stocks Under Pressure, Inflation Fears Haunt Tech Firms

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Most Asian stocks fell on Friday, dragged by the technology sector as signs of a firming U.S. economy stoked worries about higher inflation and an earlier withdrawal of Federal Reserve stimulus.

U.S. Treasury yields remained elevated after jumping overnight, while the dollar also held its biggest gain since April, after betterthanexpected employment data raised expectations for a strong reading for Friday39;s nonfarm payrolls, while a measure of service sector activity climbed to a record high.

Japan39;s Nikkei fell 0.4 while the broader Topix was about flat, with the services and tech sectors leading laggards.

MSCI39;s broadest index of AsiaPacific shares outside Japan was off 0.3, weighed by a 0.7 slide in Taiwan39;s techheavy stock market.

Chinese blue chips bucked the trend, rallying 0.6, after Beijing proposed a reduction in stamp duty for led financial firms. Australia39;s benchmark rose to a record above 7,300 and was up 0.5.

Overall the market is still very, very bullish, and the data we got overnight out of the U.S. was very, very positive, said Kyle Rodda, a market analyst at IG in Melbourne.

I think the consensus overall is that there39;s reasonably limited risk that the Fed is going to pull away the punchbowl.

At the same time, he said investors were closing tech positions ahead of key U.S. nonfarm payrolls data later in the global day, to shield themselves from potential losses in the event of an upside surprise.

Futures pointed to a slightly lower…

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