Japan’s Nikkei 225 falls as Asia-Pacific markets drop
Shares in Asia-Pacific fell following losses overnight that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s first descent this year.
The Nikkei 225 fell 2.7% in Japan while the Topix index declined 1.89%. Australian stocks also saw severe losses as the S&P/ASX 200 lost 2.78%, with shares of Afterpay falling nearly 12%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lowered 0.37%. Hong Kong-listed shares of Evergrande Group (indebted developer in China) dropped 0.64%. Reuters reported that the company would seek a six-month delay in making payments.
The Shanghai Composite in mainland China fell 0.17%, while the Shenzhen component dropped 0.538%.
South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.87% this week.
The Straits Times index topped the broader region in Southeast Asia as it earned 0.53%.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares traded 1.33% lower outside Japan.
Minutes from the U.S. Fed’s December meeting showed that officials are ready to dial back policy help.
Major indexes on Wall Street dropped dramatically after the release of the minutes. The S&P 500 fell 1.95% to 4,700.59. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 392.55 points to 36,407.12, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 3.35% to 15,100.18.
In the meantime, on Wednesday, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield touched 1.8%, last sitting at 1.6982%. Yields moved opposite of prices.
In the afternoon of Asia trading hours, oil prices appeared lower. International benchmark Brent crude futures fell 1.37% to $79.71 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 1.4% to $76.85 per barrel.
The U.S. dollar index, tracking the greenback against a basket of its equivalents, was at 96.18, off levels above 96.4.
The Japanese yen traded at 115.84 per dollar. It appeared weaker than levels below 115.6, seen earlier in the week. The Australian dollar changed at $0.7182 after seeing an earlier high of $0.7223.
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