Asia trades lower, ASX down 2%, Shanghai slips 1% – CNBC

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Asia stocks traded mostly down Wednesday morning, with a combination of low oil prices, concerns over China and weak overnight data weighing on market sentiment.

In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 retraced losses over 1.7 percent early on to trade down 1.05 percent. The broader Topix also pared losses of over 1 percent to trade 0.8 percent lower. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi traded down 0.18 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 1.72 percent.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 extended losses from Tuesday by closing down 104.58 points, or 2.10 percent, at 4,875, with most sectors finishing in the red. The heavily weighted financials sector was down 2.54 percent, energy fell 3.44 percent, and the materials sector sold off 3.61 percent.

Chinese markets were also down with the main Shanghai composite lower by 1.03 percent while the Shenzhen composite dropped 1.97 percent.

Analysts pointed to a combination of factors that kept investors skittish, including low oil prices, moves from central banks, weak data, and renewed concerns over China’s renminbi.

Overnight comments from Saudi Arabia’s oil minister, Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi, dashed hopes for a possible production cut to tackle the global supply glut and sent already low oil prices lower still.

“Oil is obviously one of the big swing factors out there,” said Andrew Sullivan, managing director for sales trading at Haitong Internaitonal Securities.

But, Sullivan told CNBC’s “Squawk Box“, “the other major thing is people are just watching the central banks and fast coming to the conclusion that there’s not an awful lot that central banks can do.”

“And this move to negative interest rates for a lot of people is actually a bad thing,” he added.

Asia trades lower, ASX down 2%, Shanghai slips 1% – CNBC}