Asia Slips with Oil Prices

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%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 retreated 250.67 points, or 0.9%, to 27,522.36. Auto and tech stocks fell across the board, but pared some losses. Toyota was down more than 2%, Mazda dropped 3.4% and Mitsubishi fell 3.7%.

In tech stocks, Sony was down 1.4%, and Softbank declined 0.7%.

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.

The Japanese yen traded at 113.84 per U.S. dollar, continuing to strengthen from levels above 114.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong inched forward 13.2 points, or 0.1%, to 24,965.55. 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.

Australian stocks settled as major miners, oil and banks declined. The Australian dollar was at $0.7193, edging down from levels around $0.72 earlier.

In other markets

In China, the CSI 300 removed 44.2 points, or 0.9%, to 4,779.31.

In Korea, the Kospi index docked 28.39 points, or 1%, to 2,834.29.

In Taiwan, the Taiex stumbled 318.98 points, or 1.8%, to 17,899.30

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index eked higher 0.04 points to 3,294.86.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 dropped 149.09 points, or 1.2%, to 12,348.

In Australia, the ASX 200 weakened 166.57 points, or 2.3%, at 7,175.81.