Falling Oil, Rising Yen Drag Down Asian Markets

Investors pessimistic of Japan stimulus plan

by Kenan Machado
Market Watch

Asian stock markets fell Wednesday as U.S. oil entered a bear market, and a stronger yen dragged Japanese equities lower.

The Nikkei Stock Average NIK, -1.57% was 0.9% lower with Australia’s S&P ASX 200 XJO, -1.22% down 0.9%. The South Korean Kospi SEU, -0.88% dropped 1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -1.70% was off 1.6%. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +0.27% dropped 0.3%.

U.S. oil prices fell to fresh three-month lows in overnight trade as investors turned cautious ahead of weekly inventory data. Concerns rose that Wednesday’s inventory report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration would show supply at high levels. Brent crude has since recovered in Asia trade to rise 0.5%.

Investors were also pessimistic after details of Japan’s stimulus package were revealed Tuesday. Japan’s cabinet approved ¥7.5 trillion ($73 billion) in new spending, to boost the country’s sluggish economy.

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