SYDNEY, NSW, Australia – With financial markets across the world in disarray, Asian stocks presented few opportunities for buyers on Friday.
“We’ve got a terrible macro backdrop with a serious inflation problem implying that we’re going to see much, much tighter monetary policy,” Rob Carnell, chief economist at ING in Singapore told Reuters Friday.
“Everybody’s incomes are going to get eroded. Global growth is going to get battered. What more do you need?”
“At some stage, you probably will pull back much more sharply, but at the moment there’s still a bit of denial going on in markets,” Carnell said.
Oil-starved Japan again took the brunt of Friday’s storm, with the Nikkei 225 diving 527.62 points or 2.05 percent to 25,162.08. The Japanese yen too buckled, with the key currency closing in on the 117.00 level.
The Australian All Ordinaries dropped 71.60 points or 0.97 percent to 7,339.30.
The Kospi Composite in Seoul, South Korea, retreated 19.04 points or 0.71 percent to 2,661.28.
The S&P/NZX 50 in New Zealand shed 104.88 points or 0.88 percent to 11,821.38.
In Hong Kong the Hang Seng lost 336.47 points or 1.61 percent to 20,553.79.
Going against the trend, China’s Shanghai Composite gained 13.65 points or 0.41 percent to 3,309.75.
The U.S. dollar gained ground during Asian trading Friday. The euro fell to 1.1006 by the Sydney close. The British pound slipped to 1.3100. The Japanese yen was sharply lower at 116.76. The Swiss franc eased to 0.9303.
The Canadian dollar dipped to 1.2763. The Australian dollar softened to 0.7358. The New Zealand dollar eased to 0.6856.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 112.18 points, or 0.34 percent, to 33,174.07.
The Standard and Poor’s 500 dropped 18.36 points, or 0.43 percent, to 4,259.52.
The Nasdaq Composite did worst, declining 125.58 points, or 0.95 percent, to 13,129.96.