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Asia-Pacific Stocks Tumble, Tracking Wall Street Declines; Oil Prices Slip

Toru Hanai | Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Japan's autos and tech stocks fell across the board.
  • Economic data in the region for Friday includes Japan's inflation data for December, as well as minutes of its monetary policy meeting.
  • Oil prices fell after spiking to their highest since 2014 on Wednesday.

SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific markets tumbled on Friday, tracking declines on Wall Street overnight. Meanwhile, oil prices slipped from their 2014 highs earlier in the week, falling about 2%.

Japan's Nikkei 225 pared earlier losses, falling 0.9% to close at 27,522.26, while the Topix was down 0.59% to 1,927.18. Auto and tech stocks fell across the board, but pared some losses. Toyota was down more than 2%, Mazda dropped 3.39% and Mitsubishi fell 3.73%.

In tech stocks, Sony was down 1.37%, and Softbank declined 0.72%.

Japan's inflation data released on Friday showed that core consumer prices rose 0.5% in December compared to a year earlier, as fuel and raw material costs increased, according to Reuters. The increase was for a second month straight at the fastest pace in nearly two years, Reuters said.

Australia's ASX 200 fell 2.27% to close at 7,175.80, as major miners, oil and banks declined.

Mainland stocks declined, with the Shanghai composite dipping 0.91% to close at 3,522.57 and the Shenzhen component down 1.19% to 14,029.55.

Over in South Korea, the Kospi was down 1% to 2,834.29. Taiwan's Taiex fell 1.75% to 17,899.30.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slipped 0.19% as of the final hour of trade. Alibaba was down 3.7%.

Elsewhere, Singapore's first SPAC, Vertex Technology Acquisition Corporation, made its debut on Thursday afternoon, drawing a keen response from investors with the retail tranche of 600,000 units 36 times subscribed. The stock closed up 1% from its offer price.

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

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 and closing below 4,500 for the first time since October 2021.

Currencies and oil

Oil prices fell on Thursday after spiking to their highest since 2014 on Wednesday, as supply concerns were soothed.

On Friday afternon during Asia hours, oil prices continued to decline, but pared some losses from a 3% decline earlier. U.S. crude fell 1.57% to $84.2 per barrel, while Brent was down 1.37% to $87.17.

"The rally in crude oil took a breather after US crude stockpiles rose modestly," wrote ANZ Research analysts Brian Martin and Daniel Hynes in a Friday note.

"Despite this, demand remains strong ... The pause in prices was also driven by reports the US is planning to accelerate the release of strategic reserves. However, this will be overshadowed by ongoing supply constraints globally," they said.

In currencies, the U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 95.675, lifting from earlier levels.

The Japanese yen traded at 113.84 per dollar, continuing to strengthen from levels above 114. The Australian dollar was at $0.7193, edging down from levels around $0.72 earlier.

— CNBC's Abigail Ng contributed to this report.

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