Asia-Pacific Mixed as Oil Prices Slump

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Friday following overnight declines for the major indexes on Wall Street.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dropped 218.17 points, or 0.7%, to 30,017.92.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.63 per U.S. dollar, stronger than levels above 106 against the greenback seen earlier this week.

Japan’s core consumer prices declined 0.6% in January as compared with a year earlier, according to data released Friday by the country’s Statistics Bureau. That marked the sixth straight month of annual declines.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng rebuilt 49.46 points, or 0.2%, to 30,446.73.

Oil prices fell in the afternoon of Asia trading hours on Friday, as international benchmark Brent crude futures slipped 1.05% to $63.26 per barrel. U.S. crude futures dropped 1.4% to $59.68 per barrel.

Australia’s retail sales rose 0.6% in January on a seasonally adjusted basis as compared with the previous month, according to preliminary retail trade figures released Friday by the country’s Bureau of Statistics. That was lower than expectations for a 2% increase.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7791 U.S., having swung from around $0.78 to below $0.774 so far this week.

In other markets

In China, the CSI 300 notched higher 10.46 points, or 0.2%, to 5,778.84.

In Taiwan, the Taiex descended 83.13 points, or 0.5%, to 16,341.38.

In Singapore, the Straits Times index fell 28.21 points, or 1%, to 2,880.64.

In Korea, the Kospi recovered 20.96 points, or 0.7%, to 3,107.62.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 staggered 84.97 points, or 0.7%, to 12,548.63.

In Australia, the ASX 200 slid 92.08 points, or 1.3%, to 6,793.79.