Japan’s Nikkei 225 drops more than 2% as Asia-Pacific stocks slip; mainland China and Hong Kong markets closed

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific slipped in Friday trade, with Japanese markets leading losses.

In Friday afternoon trade, the Nikkei 225 fell 2.56% while the Topix index shed 2.31%.

Sentiment at Japan’s large manufacturers improved in the three months to September, according to the Bank of Japan’s quarterly tankan business sentiment survey released Friday. Tthe headline index for large manufacturers’ sentiment came in at plus 18 — an improvement over the previous quarter’s reading of of plus 14.

Australian stocks also notched heavy losses, with the S&P/ASX 200 falling 2.1%. Taiwan’s Taiex plunged 2.12%.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi dipped 1.31%. In Southeast Asia, the Straits Times index in Singapore declined 1.15%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.92% lower.

Markets in Hong Kong are closed for a holiday on Friday, while those in mainland China are closed for the Golden Week holiday from Friday till October 7.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 546.80 points to 33,843.92 while the S&P 500 shed 1.19% to 4,307.54. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.44% to 14,448.58.

Those losses on Wall Street saw the S&P 500 suffering its worst month since March 2020, when the pandemic sparked a major market sell-off.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 94.309 following a rise from below 94 earlier this week.

The Japanese yen traded at 111.16 per dollar, stronger than levels around 112 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7216, having bounced from below $0.72 yesterday.

Oil prices were little changed in the afternoon of Asia trading hours on Friday, with international benchmark Brent crude futures sitting below the flatline, trading at $78.28 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also traded fractionally lower at $75 per barrel.

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