Asian markets slipped Wednesday after U.S. stocks took their biggest loss in almost a month, underscoring simmering worries about global economic growth.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.8 percent to 16,249.97 in morning trading. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1 percent to 5,485.40. South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.8 percent at 2,002.94. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 1.7 percent to 21,763.21, while the Shanghai Composite was little changed, inching up 0.1 percent to 2,973.80.
Disappointment is already setting in, as the substance of Japan’s 28 trillion yen ($272 billion) economic stimulus package falls far short of the hype, in light of the fact that much of the money is already in the pipeline. A strong yen is also deepening pessimism over prospects for Japan’s recovery.
“The forex markets have been in risk-off mode over the past day, as concerns grow about Japan’s woefully limited economic package and as oil prices plunge, stoking fears that global growth is stagnating,” said Stephen Innes, senior trader at Oanda Asia Pacific.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.5 percent to 18,313.77. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 0.6 percent to 2,157.03 and the Nasdaq composite slid 0.9 percent to 5,137.73. The Dow has fallen for seven days in a row, and Tuesday was the worst day for U.S. stocks since July 5.
Oil prices regained some of their recent plunge. Benchmark U.S. crude was up 29 cents at $39.80 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 55 cents on Wednesday to $39.51 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, edged up 24 cents to $42.04 a barrel in London.
The dollar fell to 101.23 yen from 102.60 yen late Tuesday in Asia, while the euro rose to $1.1215 from $1.1172.