Japan Fades, Investors Weigh Inflation Concerns

Shares in Asia-Pacific struggled for direction on Friday, following sharp declines on Wall Street as investors weighed the possibility of aggressive monetary policy tightening leading to a recession.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 stumbled 468.2 points, or 1.8%, to 25,963, as shares of conglomerate SoftBank Group plunged 4.2%

The Bank of Japan on Friday said it would maintain its ultra-easy monetary policy.

Following that decision, the Japanese yen weakened more than 1.5% to 134.30 per dollar, though it was still stronger as compared with levels above 135 seen against the greenback earlier this week.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index regained 229.57 points, or 1.1%, to 21,075. Shares of life insurer AIA climbed more than 2%.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6979, off an earlier high of $0.7053.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 jumped 58.98 points, or 1.4%, to 4,309.04

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index eked higher 0.66 points to 3,098.09.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index collapsed 197.35 points, or 1.3%, to 15,641.26.

In Korea, the Kospi gave back 10.48 points, or 0.4%, to 2,440.93.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 swooned 57.39 points, or 0.5%, to 10,589.19.

In Australia, dropped 116.3 points, or 1.8%, to 6,474.80.