Asian stock markets closed lower on Friday, March 10th, following a sharp decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wall Street the day before. Investors were also keeping a close eye on the release of US job numbers for February, which could provide clues about the state of the American economy.
In Japan, the Nikkei closed at 28,143.97, down 479.18 points, or -1.91%, marking the end of a five-day winning streak. The Bank of Japan’s decision to maintain ultra-accommodative monetary policy during its meeting today resulted in investors selling bank stocks.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed at 7,144.70, down 166.40 or -2.28%, while the All Ordinaries closed at 7,348.20, down 166.20 or -2.21%, led by banking stocks. The fall came after banking stocks on the New York Stock Exchange saw a sharp decline on March 9th.
The South Korean Composite (KOSPI) closed down for a third consecutive day at 2,394.59, down 24.50 points, or -1.01%, as investors returned to concerns that the US Federal Reserve (Fed) will continue to raise interest rates. The won also depreciated against the US dollar.
China’s Shanghai Composite closed at 3,230.08, down 46.02 points, or -1.40%, with automobile and internet stocks leading the decline after weak economic data was released this week.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed more than 600 points lower at 19,319.92, down 605.82 points, or -3.04%, in line with the Dow Jones. The market was pressured by bank stocks that plummeted, as well as concerns that the US labor market data, which was due to be released on March 10th, may push the Federal Reserve (Fed) to speed up interest rates.
The SET in Thailand closed at 1,599.65 points, down 14.57 points or -0.90%. With the US job numbers in focus, investors are likely to remain cautious in the coming days as they wait for further signals about the state of the global economy.