Asian shares fell on Thursday as the U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates on hold and investors continued to watch for developments on the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 2.62% to close at 26,449.13.
- The Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped 1.72% to close at 22,977.75 while the Topix index declined 1.48% to end its trading day at 1,674.77.
- In South Korea, the Kospi closed 1.71% lower at 2,148.00.
- Stocks in Australia slipped as the S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.33% to close at 7,008.40.
- Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index was 2.17% lower.
- The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 98.061 after seeing an earlier low of 97.995.
- The Japanese yen traded at 108.86 per dollar after seeing levels above 109.2 yesterday.
- The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6731 after declining from levels above $0.676 yesterday.
- Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 1.76% to $58.76 per barrel.
- The U.S. crude futures contract also shed 1.73% to $52.41 per barrel.