Japan stocks slip as Wall Street sees worst day since financial crisis

Japan stocks slip as Wall Street sees worst day since financial crisis

Shares in Asia were lower in Tuesday morning trade after stocks on Wall Street saw their worst day since the 2008 financial crisis overnight.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 1.52% in morning trade, adding to its 5.07% decline on Monday. The Topix index also shed 1.61%. The two indexes had declined more than 3% each earlier in the session.

South Korea’s Kospi traded largely flat. Meanwhile, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.41%, leaving it in bear territory — defined as more than 20% off its 52-week highs.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.19% lower.

Investors continue to watch for developments on the global coronavirus spread as well as an oil price war that was triggered after OPEC and its allies failed to reach a deal on production cuts, and Saudi Arabia announced massive discounts to its official selling prices for April.

Crude prices on Monday saw their worst day since 1991, with international benchmark Brent crude futures plummeting 24% to $34.44 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures sank 24% to $31.13 per barrel.

In the morning of Asian trading hours on Tuesday, Brent rose 6.34% to $36.54 per barrel while U.S. crude futures gained 5.65% to $32.89 per barrel.

On the economic data front, investors will await the release of Chinese inflation data for February with the consumer price index and producer price index for that month expected at around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday.

That could provide further insight into the extent of the coronavirus’ impact on the Chinese economy, after a data release over the weekend showed  the country’s January-February overseas shipments contracting 17.2% from the same period a year before, marking the steepest fall since February 2019, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, the double whammy caused by coronavirus fears as well as the oil price price sent stocks on Wall Street tumbling overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2,013.7 points to end the trading day at 23,851.02 —  its single-worst day since Oct. 15, 2008, when it fell 7.87%. The S&P 500 plunged 7.6% to close at 2,746.56 while the Nasdaq Composite ended its trading day 7.29% lower at 7,950.68. 

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 95.568 after seeing levels above 97.2 last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 103.48 per dollar after weakening from an earlier high of 101.99. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6588 after dropping to levels below $0.657 yesterday.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap in the trading day ahead:

China: Consumer Price Index and Producer Price Index for February at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN

— CNBC’s Yun Li contributed to this report.

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