Stocks in Asia saw declines on Friday morning, following the overnight release of U.S. retail data which saw the sector seeing its biggest drop in nearly a decade.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 1.26 percent in early trade while the Topix shed 1.19 percent. South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.99 percent.
Australia’s ASX 200 slipped 0.16 percent in morning trade as the sectors mostly traded down.
US retail numbers a shocker
Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 slipped 0.27 percent to close at 2,745.72 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 103.88 points to finish its trading day at 25,439.39. The Nasdaq Composite, on the other hand, edged up by 0.1 percent to close at 7,426.95.
The moves stateside came on the back of U.S. retail sales in December coming in far below expectations.
U.S. retail sales fell 1.2 percent in December, marking their biggest monthly drop since September 2009, according to The Commerce Department. The department also said retail sales fell 0.9 percent in December when excluding gasoline station sales.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.978 after seeing a high above 97.2 yesterday.
The Japanese yen traded at 110.44 against the dollar after seeing lows around 111 yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.7095 after seeing lows around $0.708 in the previous session.
Oil prices edged higher on Thursday and Brent hit the highest level this year, but gains were capped after the steepest decline in U.S. retail spending since 2009 heightened investor fears of a global economic slowdown.
Brent futures ended the session up 96 cents, or 1.5 percent, at $64.57 a barrel, after hitting a 2019 high of $64.81, while U.S. crude rose 51 cents, or 0.95 percent, to $54.41 a barrel, down from a session high of $54.68.
Oil prices also drew support from a surprise increase in China’s exports in January and a sharp rise in imports of crude oil before the Lunar New Year holidays in February.