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Japanese shares plunge following Wall Street sell-off

Japanese sharesImage copyrightAFP
Asian shares have tumbled after a heavy sell-off on Wall Street added to nervousness among investors.
Japan's Nikkei 225 fell more than 4% before closing down 2.7% at 17,240.95. Earlier, the index had fallen below the key resistance level of 17,000 for the first time since September.
US shares had fallen over 2% as a oil stockpiles report and a Federal Reserve survey suggested more sluggish growth.
Weak economic data from Japan also dented investors' confidence.
Government data showed that core machinery orders fell 14.4% in November from the previous month.
The orders were down for the first time in three months in the world's third largest economy.

Plunging oil prices

Brent crude prices, meanwhile, fell 0.9% to $30.05 a barrel after earlier hitting a fresh 12-year low of $29.73.
Bernard Aw, market strategist at trading firm IG, said oil prices would not see much recovery this year amid a supply glut.
"Oil prices should continue to remain low, where a sustained pick-up is expected only in the third quarter of 2017," he said in a note on Thursday.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 share index ended 1.6% lower at 4,909.40, despite the release of better than expected employment data.
The unemployment rate in the country was 5.8% in December, with fewer jobs lost than economists were expecting.
The country lost 1,000 new jobs, as against expectations of 10,000.
In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi index closed down 0.9% at 1,900.01 after its central bank kept interest rates unchanged for the seventh consecutive month.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was 0.5% lower at 19,830.64 in afternoon trade.

Chinese shares recover

The Shanghai Composite index was the only bright spot in the region - rising 0.6% to 2,967.35 - as it reversed earlier losses.
Regulators had announced late on Wednesday that they had stepped up monitoring share-selling by listed companies' major shareholders.
The securities commission also said that its transition to a US-style registration system for listings would be a gradual process and not lead to a surge in initial public offerings (IPOs).
The announcement was the latest in a series of measures to support the market after heavy losses since last week.
Elsewhere in the region, Indonesia's Jakarta composite index was down 1.7% at 4,459.32 after multiple bomb blasts rocked the capital city.
Japanese shares plunge following Wall Street sell-off Reviewed by Unknown on 1:15:00 AM Rating: 5
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