Asia report: Markets finish week in miserable fashion
Markets in Asia finished lower on Friday, after another red session on Wall Street overnight saw US stocks extend their massive losses sustained earlier in the week.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down 2.32% at 21,382.62, as the yen weakened 0.07% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 108.82.
Losses were seen across most sectors, with carmakers, financial plays, manufacturers and technology shares all well into the red.
Some of the biggest losers among Tokyo’s blue chips were Fanuc Manufacturing, Fast Retailing and Toyota, which were down 3.98%, 3.69% and 1.14% respectively.
On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was off 4.02% at 3,130.93, and the smaller, technology-heavy Shenzhen Composite lost 3.19% to 1,679.26.
The People’s Bank of China released CNY 2trn, it confirmed on Friday, in a bid to meet demand for cash ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.
Fresh data out of Beijing showed a 1.5% uptick in the consumer price index, which was in line with forecasts, while the producer price index was ahead 4.3% year-on-year in January, falling just short of the 4.4% Reuters-polled prediction.
South Korea’s Kospi was off 1.82% at 2,363.77, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong fell 3.1% to 29,507.42.
Seoul technology giant Samsung Electronics fell 2.83%, following reports on Thursday that prosecutors had searched the company’s offices amid investigations into previous South Korean president Lee Myung-bak.
Oil prices were lower still, with Brent crude last down 1.05% at $64.14 and West Texas Intermediate off 1.51% at $60.24.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.89% to 5,838.00, with gold being the only sector to emerge in the black.
The energy subindex led the rest of the pack below the waterline, falling 2.14%, while the hefty financials sector was off 0.51%.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 was down 1% at 8,092.37, led lower by fruit processing giant Scales Corporation, which lost 2.8%.
Both of the down under dollars were stronger on the greenback, with the Aussie last ahead 0.12% at AUD 1.2835 and the Kiwi advancing 0.16% to NZD 1.3830.