Japan’s Nikkei 225 drops nearly 3% as Asia-Pacific markets largely fall

Japan’s Nikkei 225 drops nearly 3% as Asia-Pacific markets largely fall

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific declined on Thursday following losses overnight that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average notching its first decline of 2022.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 2.88% to close at 28,487.87 while the Topix index dipped 2.07% to 1,997.01. Australian stocks also saw heavy losses as the S&P/ASX 200 fell 2.74% on the day to 7,358.30, with shares of Afterpay plunging nearly 11%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed 0.14% as of its final hour of trading. Hong Kong-listed shares of debt-ridden developer China Evergrande Group surged nearly 2%. Reuters reported that the firm will seek a six month delay in making payments on an onshore bond.

The Shanghai composite in mainland China closed 0.25% lower at 3.586.08 while the Shenzhen component slipped 0.663% to 14,429.51.

South Korea’s Kospi fell 1.13%, closing at 2,920.53.

In Southeast Asia, the Straits Times index outperformed the broader region as it gained around 0.6% in afternoon trade.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 1.32% lower.

The moves came as the 10-year U.S. Treasury continued its upward trek, rising to 1.7264% in the afternoon of Asia trading hours. Yields move inversely to prices.

Minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s December meeting released Wednesday showed officials are ready to aggressively dial back policy help.

Major indexes on Wall Street fell sharply following the release of the minutes, with the S&P 500 dropping 1.94% to 4,700.58. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 392.54 points to 36,407.11 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite plunged 3.34% to 15,100.17.

Oil falls nearly 1%

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures slipping 0.75% to $80.19 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 0.73% to $77.28 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.308 after seeing an earlier low of 96.122.

The Japanese yen traded at 115.91 per dollar, weaker than levels below 115.5 seen against the greenback earlier in the week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7163 after seeing an earlier high of $0.7222.

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