Bank of Japan, coronavirus, technology stocks

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia Pacific traded lower on Thursday morning following overnight declines on Wall Street. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 1.06% in early trade while the Topix index shed 0.83%. Losses were also seen in South Korea, where the Kospi slipped 1.48%. Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.62%. Overall, the […]

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia Pacific traded lower on Thursday morning following overnight declines on Wall Street.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 1.06% in early trade while the Topix index shed 0.83%.

Losses were also seen in South Korea, where the Kospi slipped 1.48%. Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.62%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.55% lower.

Tech shares decline

Technology stocks in Asia-Pacific took a hit in Thursday morning trade, following losses seen by their counterparts stateside.

In Japan, conglomerate Softbank Group saw its stock drop 3.78% while Kakao in South Korea fell 2.74%.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 525.05 points, or 1.9%, to close at 26,763.13. The S&P 500 slipped 2.4% to finish its trading day at 3,236.92 while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 3% to close at 10,632.99.

In coronavirus developments, Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday it has begun its phase three trial testing its potential coronavirus vaccine. The firm is the fourth drugmaker backed by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration’s Covid-19 vaccine program, Operation Warp Speed, to enter late-stage testing.

Oil prices fall

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.81% to $41.43 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also slipped 1.13% to $39.48 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, sat at 94.378 following its rise from levels below 93 this week.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.31 per dollar after weakening from levels around 105 yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.7067 after falling yesterday from above $0.712.

— CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace Jr. contributed to this report.

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