China December trade data, inflation worries

SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific markets dropped on Friday as the recent rally in U.S. stocks broke momentum with the Nasdaq snapping a three-day winning streak.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.13% while the Topix tumbled 1.31%. Autos and tech stocks declined.

South Korea’s Kospi was down about 1%, and Australia’s ASX 200 also dipped 0.69%.

In the day ahead, investors will be anticipating the release of China’s trade data on its exports and imports for December.

South Korea’s central bank is also due to release its interest rate decision on Friday.

Over on Wall Street, stocks struggled on Thursday as a rebound in tech stocks faded, erasing gains from earlier this week.

The S&P 500 slid 1.42% to 4,659.03, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 2.51% to 14,806.81. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 176.70 points to close at 36,113.62 after rising more than 200 points earlier in the day.

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Inflation worries continued to be in focus, as data stateside showed the producer price index, which measures prices received by producers of goods, services and construction, was up 0.2% for December. Overall, wholesale prices jumped nearly 10% in 2021, the highest calendar-year increase ever in data going back to 2010.

Elsewhere, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged to bring down his country’s soaring inflation, which hit 36% in December, as the country’s central bank geared up for another rate-setting meeting next week.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 94.860, continuing its slide since beginning of the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 114.20 per dollar, as it continued to strengthened from levels above 115 previously. The Australian dollar was at $0.7280, falling back slightly.

Oil prices fell during Asia hours. U.S crude declined 0.44% to $81.76 per barrel.

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