Asia Staggers amid U.S. Volatility

Japan and Hong Kong stocks fell as Asia-Pacific markets tumbled on Tuesday after a volatile session overnight on Wall Street.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dumped 457.03 points, or 1.7%, to 27,131.34, with auto and tech stocks largely down.

The Japanese yen traded at 113.79 per U.S. dollar, strengthening slightly from around the 114 level previously.

The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong withered 412.85 points, or 1.7%, to 24,243.61.

Korean markets plunged. Hyundai Motors was down 1.27% after reporting fourth-quarter earnings. The company’s net profit for the quarter that ended in December was 547 billion Korean won ($456 million U.S.), down nearly 50% from 1.1 trillion won a year before.

South Korea’s economy grew 1.1% in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to the previous quarter, the Bank of Korea said in a press release on Tuesday. For the full year, the country’s GDP expanded by 4% in 2021, the fastest in 11 years

Meanwhile, Singapore’s central bank tightened monetary policy on Tuesday in response to rising prices as global demand recovers and supply-side disruptions persist.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore uses the exchange rate to manage policy and said it would raise the rate of appreciation of its policy band slightly.

The Singapore dollar strengthened against the U.S. dollar to trade at 1.3434.

Australian indexes dwindled, as banks, miners and oil stocks all tumbled across the board. Bank stocks such as ANZ lost nearly 4%, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia stumbled 2% and National Australia Bank fell 2.9%. Oil stocks dropped as Santos fell 4.8%, Beach Energy dived 7.8% and Woodwide Petroleum slid 4%.

Inflation in Australia rose 1.3% in the fourth quarter, and 3.5% for the year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said. Prices increased at its fastest annual pace since 2014,

The Australian dollar was at $0.7134, dropping from around $0.717.

In other markets

In China, the CSI 300 retreated 108.29 points, or 2.3%, to 4,678.45.

In Korea, the Kospi index doffed 71.61 points, or 2.6%, to 2,720.39.

In Taiwan, the Taiex restocked 89.74 points, or 0.5%, to 17,989.04

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index declined 35.59 points, or 1.1%, to 3,247.76.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 dropped 62.85 points, or 0.5%, to 12,128.21.

In Australia, the ASX 200 weakened 177.92 points, or 2.5%, at 6,961.63.