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Asian markets trade lower; Nikkei slips 1.5%

Asian markets were trading lower on Wednesday. Nikkei slipped 1.4 percent and Seoul Composite declined 0.7 percent.

December 10, 2014 / 08:46 AM IST

Asian indices posted steep pullbacks early Wednesday, tracking an uninspiring finish on Wall Street overnight triggered by global growth concerns, political uncertainty in Greece, a rout in oil prices and a selloff in Chinese shares in the previous session.


US equities ended mixed on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping 0.3 percent while the S&P 500 shed half a point to 2,059.82. However, the Nasdaq Composite outperformed to close up 0.5 percent.


Overnight, brent prices finished higher after touching a five-year low and five straight days of losses, while US crude also rose as players sought a sustainable price for oil in a market haunted by oversupply concerns. Brent settled at USD 66.84 a barrel while US crude finished at USD 63.82 a barrel.


China's Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong shares extended Tuesday's losses, following worse-than-expected Chinese inflation data.


China's key inflation gauge slowed further in November, data showed on Wednesday, adding to concerns of cooling activity in the world's second-largest economy. The consumer price index rose 1.4 percent from the year-ago period - the lowest reading since November, 2009 - below a Reuters forecast for a 1.6 percent increase and slower than October's 1.6 percent rise.

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Hong Kong's Hang Seng was flat at 23,475.52. Japan's Nikkei slipped 1.43 percent or 255 points at 17,558.38.


Singapore's Straits Times was flat at 3,321.34. China's Shanghai Composite was flat at 2,858.05.


South Korea's Seoul Composite declined 0.71 percent or 14.05 points at 1,956.90. Taiwan's Taiwan Weighted was down 0.12 percent or 11.26 points at 9,117.64.

(with inputs from cnbc.com)

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