Asian indices closed today’s trading session broadly lower as market participants favored safe-haven assets over equities. The weakness in oil prices in the early part of the day also played to drive Asian stocks lower. Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined the most, shedding as much as 3.15% to settle at 17.191.25. Next in the losing streak was Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, down by 2.34% to 18,991.59, followed by Australia ASX at 4,930.80, down by 113.20 points. China’s Shanghai SE Composite Index managed to limit losses as it fell marginally by 0.38% to 2,739.25.
BoJ Statement fails to calm down Europe
The sell-off effect in Asia did leave an impact on European bourses, which opened lower today. Meanwhile, oil and weak earnings weighed on the markets in the region, with Germany’s Dax trading lower by 0.77% at 9,507.10. The United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 was seen trading 0.50% lower at 5,892.42 while both Euronext 100 and CAC 40 had shed over 0.25% to trade around 849.69 and 4272.09 respectively.
Weakness in European stocks prevailed even as the Bank of Japan reiterated that it can expand its monetary easing measures even further into negative interest rate territory. According to some analysts, European stocks today will be largely driven by oil prices and key economic data due for release later in the day.
Sell-off in the US
Yesterday, US markets had wiped out most of the previous session’s gains after oil receded back below $30. Investors also did not react favorably to softer manufacturing data released in China and the US. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged by nearly 1.80% to 16,153.54 while the S&P 500 fell 1.87% to 1,903.03.
At the same time, giant oil players Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) further disrupted market sentiment after posting the worst quarterly earnings in the last ten years, reconfirming fears that the oil rout is leaving a catastrophic impact smaller oil producers who can’t take the heat.