Why are ASX 200 tech shares having such a dire day?

Why are tech shares being hammered so badly today?

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Kid with a brown paper bag on his head which has a sad face on it sits in front of an old style computer representing falling ASX 200 tech shares today

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Key points

  • The ASX 200 is having a pretty lousy day today 
  • But ASX tech shares are copping an even harder time 
  • Perhaps comments from the US Fed have sent investors spinning... 

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is having a fairly disappointing day of trading thus far this Thursday. At the time of writing, the ASX 200 is down by 0.66% at just under 7,450 points. Unfortunately for ASX tech shares, this sector is leading the ASX 200 losses today.

While the ASX 200 is ‘only’ down by 0.64%, the S&P/ASX All Technology Index (ASX: XTX) has now lost more than 3% of its value. 

We can see this in action with some of the ASX 200’s most prominent tech shares.

Take Block Inc (ASX: SQ2), the new owner of Afterpay. Block shares are currently enduring a nasty 4.3% drop at $170.59 a share. 

Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) shares aren’t quite as deep in the dog house but are still down 3.13% right now at $33.60 a share. 

Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) is faring slightly better again. This dataset company has lost 1.68% at $6.72 a share as it currently stands. It’s a similar story with Xero Limited (ASX: XRO), which is down by 2.56% at $102.19.

But WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC) is really copping some ire. The WiseTech share price has slumped 6.01% so far today and is now at $49.54 a share. 

So why has the ASX 200 tech share sector taken such a battering today? 

Why are investors selling off ASX 200 tech shares?

Well, it’s possible these moves have been spurred by the performance of the US tech sector overnight. Last night saw the NASDAQ-100 (INDEXNASDAQ: NDX) lose a hefty 2.17%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq is home to most of the prominent US tech shares, such as Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG)(NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Netflix Inc (NASDAQ: NFLX).

This in turn seems to have been sparked by hawkish comments from the US Federal Reserve, which seem to indicate that the Fed may be thinking about ramping up interest rate hikes. 

Tech shares are particularly susceptible to higher interest rates, seeing as many of them trade on elevated valuations and higher growth expectations compared to other sectors on the market. 

So that could be why we are seeing so many ASX tech shares getting steamrollered today. 

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen owns Alphabet (A shares). The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns and has recommended Alphabet (A shares), Altium, Appen Ltd, Block, Inc., Netflix, and WiseTech Global. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has recommended Alphabet (C shares). The Motley Fool Australia owns and has recommended Block, Inc. and WiseTech Global. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), and Netflix. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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