Business

Oil price worries hit stocks in Asia for the second day

oil pump at sunset Image copyright Getty Images

Worries over falling oil prices weighed on investor confidence in Asia for a second day on Wednesday.

Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 spent the day in negative territory and closed down 3.15% at 17,191.25 points.

In Hong Kong, shares continued to lose ground in afternoon trade, with the Hang Seng down 2.8% to 18,916.19 points.

The mainland's benchmark Shanghai Composite was in negative territory too, down 1.6% at 2,706.49 points.

West Texas Intermediate - the US benchmark - lost 5.5% overnight to fall below the $30 mark, while Brent crude closed down 4.5% to about $32.

Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was weighed down by energy stocks together with the country's big lenders.

The Sydney index closed down 2.33% at 4,876.80. BHP shares lost 4.4%, Rio Tinto shares closed down 1.4%, while Santos shares shed more than 5%.

The country's big four banks were down too, with the National Australia Bank the biggest loser, down more than 5.5%.

The lender announced its final offer price for the float of its UK business - the Clydesdale Bank - at the lower end of the initial price range.

The £1.6bn ($2.3bn) flotation of Clydesdale Bank was postponed on Tuesday for 24 hours. On Tuesday evening, the bank confirmed the IPO share price at 180p, valuing it at £1.58bn.

Meanwhile, South Korea's benchmark Kospi index closed down 0.8% at 1,890.67. Investors seemed little swayed by news the government was set to introduce fresh economic stimulus measures.

The won extended its losses on Wednesday to hit a near five-and-a-half year low, also hurting investor sentiment.

South Korea's government unveiled its latest stimulus measures following a raft of disappointing economic data for the export-dependent nation.

The stimulus packages will include an extra 6tn Korean won ($4.94bn; £3.42bn) in public spending as well as an an extension of existing tax cuts on cars, among other measures.

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