Asian Equities Start Lower Following U.S. Lead

Asian stock market opened lower on the final trading of the week, tracking U.S. losses overnight following disappointing bank earnings and amid oil’s continued price slump.

Overnight, U.S. stocks fell for a fifth straight session, with the S&P 500 finishing below 2,000 for the first time in a month. A surprise move by Switzerland’s central bank to abandon its three-year-old euro cap on the franc, also added volatility to markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6 percent, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.9 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was the biggest loser for the day, shedding 1.5 percent.

Oil prices lost ground on Thursday, after a rebound in the previous session, following weak U.S. economic data. U.S. crude declined $2.23 to settle at $46.25 a barrel, while Brent crude was down nearly $1 to trade around $48 a barrel.


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