Japan Shares Fall as Yen Weighs

Asian markets were under pressure on Tuesday, as investor sentiment soured after the Dow retreated further from the 20,000-point mark and oil prices plunged as much as 4% overnight.

The Nikkei 225 Index lost 152.89 points, or 0.8%, to 19,301.44, falling sharply in afternoon trade after the yen strengthened against the U.S. dollar, touching lows of 115.18 earlier.

The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong hiked 186.16 points, or 0.8%, to 22,744.85

Shares of Toyota shed 1% to 6,861 yen each, after its North American Chief Executive Jim Lentz announced on Monday that it would invest $10 billion U.S. over the next five years in the U.S. to meet demand and upgrade plants and build more fuel-efficient models.

The Japanese automaker has recently been criticized by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Twitter for shifting the production of its Corolla to Mexico from Canada.

Takeda Pharmaceutical was nearly flat, paring gains of 1.4% earlier, to trade at 4,966 yen a share, after it announced it would buy U.S. cancer drug maker Ariad Pharmaceuticals, in a deal valued at $5.2 billion.

The yen rose against the dollar at 115.35, while the Australian dollar was stronger at $0.7374

In Hong Kong, Alibaba Group and Intime Retail Group Founder Shen Guo Jun have jointly bid to take the Chinese department store operator private for HK$19.79 ($2.55 billion U.S.), or HK$10 per Intime share, a premium of 42.3% to the stock's last price on December 28 after trading was suspended.

Intime Retail Group resumed trading on Tuesday, up 35.1% at HK$9.50 a share.

Australian markets fell, seeing broad losses across all sub-indexes except for gold which was up 1.4%

Australian retail prices for November rose by 0.2% from October, versus market consensus calling for a 0.4% increase.

South Korean electronic giants LG and Samsung consider building U.S. factories for the production of home appliances to appease Trump, the Nikkei Business Review reported late Monday. Both companies are set to announce its plans to invest in the U.S. ahead of the new president's inauguration on Jan. 20.

LG Electronics was down 3.4% at 51,800 won each, while Samsung Electronics inched 0.1% at 1,862,000 won per share.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 dropped 5.63 points, or 0.2%, to 3,358.27

China's December consumer inflation was up 2.1% year-on-year, lower than a poll which had expected consumer prices to rise by 2.3%, while producer prices jumped 5.5% from the previous year compared to forecasts of 4.5% increase. Producer prices had risen to the fastest pace since September 2011, indicating the economy is on a recovery track.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi dropped 3.66 points, or 0.2%, to 2,045.12

The Straits Times Index in Singapore strengthened 24.48 points, or 0.8%, to 3,006.02

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index gained 7.22 points, or 0.1%, to 9,349.64

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 moved up 24.84 points, or 0.4%, to 7,037.58

Australia's ASX 200 subtracted 46.74 points, or 0.8%, at 5,760.70