Australian Equities Lead Asia Lower

Stocks in Asia fell on Friday, with Australia leading the losses, as the region lost ground after a substantial overnight selloff in the U.S.  The S&P/ASX 200 lost 1.3% after stocks on Wall Street experienced their biggest one-day decline since February in the previous session, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunging 1.9% on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.3% and South Korea’s Kospi was 0.1% lower, and Singapore’s Straits Times Index lost 0.8%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 0.5%.

The causes behind the fall were diverse, as a number of issues that have knocked markets in recent weeks flared up at the same time—such as Argentina’s recent bond default, and Portugal’s second-largest bank by assets posting a record quarterly loss after it found more bad-loan exposure to its parent than expected. Furthermore, geopolitical concerns remained prominent—particularly in Ukraine and Gaza.


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