Asia stocks lower after IMF downgrades

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Nikkei 225 Index

Last Updated at 17 Nov 2017, 06:45 GMT Nikkei 225 one month chart
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22396.80 +

Asian markets headed lower, following Wall Street's cue, after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its global growth forecasts.

The IMF slashed its outlook for the third time this year, due to weakness in core eurozone countries, Japan, and emerging markets such as Brazil.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down 1.2%, hitting a five-week closing low.

But, investors pushed up the yen in safe-haven trade, as it strengthened to a three-week high against the dollar.

The euro slipped to its lowest level in a month against the yen, at 136.56, after German data showed industrial output in August fell 4% compared with the previous months.

That marked the biggest decline since the height of the financial crisis.

"Weak numbers like the German production report fuel concern that European Central Bank stimulus will be inadequate given the gloomier news," said Westpac analyst James Shugg.

Greater China shares

Hong Kong shares were lower, ending three consecutive days of gains.

The Hang Seng index fell 0.7%, losing 160 points to 23,263.33.

Meanwhile, mainland China shares resumed trading on Wednesday after a week-long national holiday.

Bucking the trend, the benchmark Shanghai Composite closed up 0.8% to 2,382.15.

In Australia, shares followed the global trend.

The S&P/ASX200 index lost 0.8% following Tuesday's lower close after the country's reserve bank kept interest rates at a record low of 2.5% to boost the economy.

In South Korea, shares closed down to mark a seven-day losing streak.

The benchmark Kospi index was down 0.4% after hitting a five-month low in morning trade.

Investors are also keeping an eye on the Bank of Korea's monetary policy meeting on Thursday after it left interest rates unchanged last month.

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