Asia Down as IMF Lowers Growth Projections

Shares in major Asia-Pacific markets declined on Thursday, as the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday downgraded its growth forecast for Asia-Pacific.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dumped 165.19 points, or 0.7%, to 23,474.27. Shares of ANA Holdings dropped 4.1% following reports that the airline is set to post multi-billion-dollar losses for the fiscal year to March. Japan Airlines also saw its stock decline 2.2%.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.53 per U.S. dollar following a steep strengthening from levels above 105 against the greenback yesterday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index gained 31.71 points, or 0.1%, to 24,786.13.

The IMF on Wednesday downgraded its forecast for Asia-Pacific to -2.2% in 2020 — "the worst outcome for this region in living memory."

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.1057 after touching an earlier high of $0.7119.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 dropped 14.85 points, or 0.3%, to 4,777.98.

In Korea, the Kospi index skidded 15.81 points, or 0.7%, to 2,355.05.

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index advanced 39.78 points, or 0.3%, to 12,917.03.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index regained 2.8 points, or 0.1%, to 2,528.41

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 subtracted 25.31 points, or 0.2%, to 12,407.29.

In Australia, the ASX 200 retreated 18.05 points, or 0.3%, to 6,173.75.