CANBERA (dpa-AFX) - Asian stock markets retreated on Tuesday, snapping a two-day winning streak, following the weak cues overnight from Wall Street and the pullback in oil prices. Investors also treaded cautiously ahead of monetary policy statements by the
and the Bank of Japan
later in the week.
The Japanese market is notably lower, with the negative lead from Wall Street and the fall in oil prices denting risk appetite. Additionally, a stronger yen hurt exporters' stocks.
In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is declining 319.08 points or 1.86 percent to 16,791.83, off a low of 16,683.64 in early trades.
Exporters are lower on a stronger yen. Sony is down almost 3 percent, Toshiba is losing almost 4 percent, Canon is lower by 2 percent and Casio Computer is declining almost 2 percent. Sharp is edging down less than 1 percent and Panasonic is down almost 3 percent.
Market heavyweight Fast Retailing is declining more than 2 percent and SoftBank is lower by 4 percent. In the banking space, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is losing more than 3 percent.
Oil stock Inpex is lower by 4 percent and JX Holdings is declining almost 2 percent following the slide in crude oil prices.
Among the major gainers, Sumitomo Osaka Cement is gaining almost 4 percent. Meanwhile, Unitika is losing 6 percent, while IGC Corp. and Marui Group are declining more than 4 percent each.
In economic news, the Bank of Japan said that producer prices in
were up 0.4 percent on year in December. That exceeded forecasts for an increase of 0.2 percent, which would have been unchanged from the November reading. On a monthly basis, prices ticked up 0.1 percent following the 0.2 percent gain in the previous month.
In the currency market, the
dollar is trading in the lower 118 yen
-range on Tuesday, down from Monday's close in the mid 118-yen
is losing almost 2 percent, while
are down more than 1 percent each, and
is declining 0.5 percent.
are also in negative territory. The markets in
are closed on Tuesday for public holidays.
On Wall Street, stocks moved sharply lower on Monday following a sharp pullback in the price of crude oil. The sell-off may have been exaggerated by light trading activity, however, as some traders stayed on the sidelines amid a lack of major
economic data on the day.
The Dow slumped 208.29 points or 1.3 percent to 15,885.22, the Nasdaq plunged 72.69 points or 1.6 percent to 4,518.49 and the S&P 500 dove 29.82 points or 1.6 percent to 1,877.08.
The major European markets ended Monday in the red. While the French CAC 40 Index dropped by 0.6 percent, the
100 Index and the German DAX Index fell by 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.
Crude oil prices tumbled Monday, giving back most of their big gains from the previous two session. WTI oil for March delivery tumbled $1.85 or 5.8 percent to $30.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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