2-8-18 8:19 PM EST | Email Article

By Lucy Craymer

Nikkei leads losses, Kospi faces worst 4-day decline since 2012

The latest decline in global stocks moved to Asia Pacific on Friday after late heavy selling in the U.S. left the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 in correction territory for the first time in two years.

Also pressured by renewed safe-haven flows into the yen, Japan's Nikkei Stock Average led the declines, skidding 3%. The index has slumped 9% since Monday, on pace for its biggest weekly drop since the heavy global selling seen in February 2016.

The dollar was recently at Yen108.70, nearly a full yen less than where it stood at Thursday's Tokyo stock-market close.

Indexes in Australia and New Zealand each fell 1.5% Friday -- both face their worst week in at least two years.

South Korea's Kospi , which had seen its biggest four-day decline since 2012 before rebounding some on Thursday, was down 2% early Friday.

The slump in U.S. stocks Thursday came despite Treasury yields moving little. Rising yields had been cited as a factor in equities' turn over the past week, but 10-year Treasury yields on Thursday remained about 2.85% -- around four-year highs.

Still, "the markets are trying to navigate the prospect of increased interest-rate hikes...as inflation potentially appears," said Stuart Ive, private client manager at OM Financial in Wellington. "As with any one-way bet, like equities have been since 2009, there comes a point where the game changes. This looks like now."

Meanwhile, Congress still needs to vote Thursday night on an agreement to keep the federal government from partially shutting down at midnight.

In commodities, oil futures fell another 1% in Asia on Friday after logging a similar decline in Thursday's global session. Iran announcing plans to increase output over the next three to four years was pressuring the market in recent hours, Ive said. Brent futures are about $64 a barrel, and he said if they fall back below $60, there may be some comments coming from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 08, 2018 20:19 ET (01:19 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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