Asia-Pacific markets slip following overnight declines on Wall Street

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were lower in Friday trade following overnight declines for the major indexes on Wall Street.

In Japan, the NIkkei 225 declined 0.87% while the Topix index shed 0.78%.

Japan’s core consumer prices declined 0.6% in January as compared with a year earlier, according to data released Friday by the country’s Statistics Bureau. That marked the sixth straight month of annual declines, according to Reuters.

Mainland Chinese markets were mixed: The Shanghai composite hovered above the flatline while the Shenzhen component dipped 0.206%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined 0.48%.

South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.94%.

Stocks in Australia slipped as the S&P/ASX 200 declined 1.13%.

Australia’s retail sales rose 0.6% in January on a seasonally adjusted basis as compared with the previous month, according to preliminary retail trade figures released Friday by the country’s Bureau of Statistics. That was lower than expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2% increase.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.42% lower.

Oil prices drop

Oil prices fell in the morning of Asia trading hours on Friday, as international benchmark Brent crude futures slipped 1.77% to $62.80 per barrel. U.S. crude futures dropped 2.16% to $59.21 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.573 as it eased off from levels above 90.9 seen earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.65 per dollar, stronger than levels above 106 against the greenback seen earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7762, having swung from around $0.78 to below $0.774 so far this week.

— CNBC’s Jeff Cox contributed to this report.

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