Japan’s Nikkei 225 drops more than 2% as Asian stocks tumble
SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia fell Monday morning as investors anticipate major Chinese economic data releases this week as well as a closely watched interest rate decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 2.4% as shares of conglomerate SoftBank Group fell 4.58%. The Topix index lost 1.8%.
The South Korean Kospi lost 2%. MSCI’s broadest Asia Pacific ex-Japan equity index traded down 0.53%.
Australian markets are closed on Monday for a public holiday.
Later this week, a slew of Chinese economic data, including industrial production and retail sales for May, will be released on Wednesday.
The US Fed is also expected to announce its interest rate decision later this week. This comes after the release of warmer than expected US inflation data on Friday.
Oil drops nearly 2%
Oil prices were lower in morning trading hours in Asia, with international benchmark Brent futures down 1.9% at $119.69 a barrel. U.S. crude futures fell 1.96% to $118.31 a barrel.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 104.476 after recently breaking through the 104 level.
The Japanese yen was trading at 134.67 to the dollar, after weakening from levels below 132 against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7015 after falling more than $0.72 last week.