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Nasdaq falls, inflation in Japan, oil prices

SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific markets fell on Friday, trailing Wall Street’s overnight declines. Meanwhile, oil prices slipped overnight from their 2014 highs earlier in the week.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 2% in early trade, while the Topix lost 1.81%. Auto and technology stocks fell across the board. Toyota fell almost 4%, Mazda fell 4.8% and Mitsubishi fell more than 5%.

Among technology stocks, Sony lost more than 3% and Softbank lost more than 2%.

Australia’s ASX 200 fell more than 1% as major miners and banks fell. Over in South Korea, the Kospi lost 0.7%.

Elsewhere, Singapore’s first SPAC, Vertex Technology Acquisition Corporation, debuted on Thursday afternoon, drawing a great response from investors with the retail tranche of 600,000 units subscribed 36 times. The stock closed 1% above its asking price.

Looking ahead, economic data in the region for Friday will include Japan’s December inflation data as well as minutes of its monetary policy meeting.

Over on Wall Street, stocks fell. The Nasdaq Composite ended the session down 1.3% at 14,154.02 after rising 2.1% earlier in the day. That pushed the index further into correction territory — or more than 10% below its November record.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 313.26 points to 34,715.39 on Thursday, closing below its 200-day moving average for the first time since December 2021. The S&P 500 fell 1.1% to 4,482.73, closing below 4,500 for the first time since October 2021.

Currencies and Oil

Oil prices fell on Thursday after hitting their highest level since 2014 on Wednesday as supply concerns eased.

“The crude oil rally has taken a breather after US crude inventories rose modestly,” ANZ Research analysts Brian Martin and Daniel Hynes wrote in a note on Friday.

“Nevertheless, demand remains strong… The price pause was also fueled by reports that the US plans to accelerate the release of strategic reserves. However, this is being overshadowed by ongoing global supply shortages,” they said.

Oil prices continued to fall during Friday morning’s Asia Hours. US crude fell about 1.61% to $84.17 a barrel.

In currencies, the US Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, came in at 95.770, rising above 95.6 from previous levels.

The Japanese yen traded at 113.93 per dollar and continued to rise from levels above 114. The Australian dollar traded at $0.7217 and fell slightly.

— CNBC’s Abigail Ng contributed to this report.

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Written by trendingatoz

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