Asian markets tanked on Tuesday as a selloff wave in Europe and the United States reached the shores of Asian countries, nudging fearful investors into safe havens in a frenzied manner. The global turmoil is attributed to deep losses carried by the banking sector in Europe especially, with Deutsche Bank's stocks sinking nearly 10% just yesterday on fears it wouldn't be able to pay back its bond loans.
Japan's Nikkei index plunged 5.26% to 16,113, battered by a sharply stronger yen which diminishes the competitiveness of Japanese exports. Australian shares dropped nearly three percent, while India's Nifty gave up 1.20%. Chinese and Hong Kong markets are closed for a week-long holiday, somehow mitigating the widespread damage.
Safe haven soared as demand jumps for them, with the yen hitting a 15-month high against the dollar at 114.20, before last trading at 114.78, up an impressive 0.91% on the day. Euro dropped to a two-week low versus the Japanese resurgent currency to 128.60, down 0.82%. Yen climbed to a three-week high against sterling at 165.46, up a strong 1.03% on the day.
Wall Street recovered some losses before closing Monday's trading, but was still deeply wounded, with Dow Jones closing down 177 points, or 1.10% at 16,027. NASDAQ Composite fell 79 points, or 1.82% to 4,283, while S&P 500 shed 26 points, or 1.42% to 1,853.
Oil prices clutched some gains amid the pandemonium, with Brent crude futures adding 10 cents, or 0.32% to trade at $32.98 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediary (WTI) crude futures rose 35 cents, or 1.18% to $30.04 a barrel.
The dollar index, which measures the currency's performance against an array of major counterparts, fell 0.16% to 96.69, with the greenback inching down 0.1% against the euro to 1.1204. Sterling gave up 0.13% versus the dollar to trade at 1.4413.
Investors wait for a basket of data today, from Germany, data on industrial production was expected yesterday but got delayed to today. It is expected to have grown 0.2% m/m in December, compared to November's 0.3% drop, which would be positive for the euro.
From The U.S., wholesale inventories are forecast to have fallen 0.1% m/m in December, compared to November's 0.3% drop. A fall in inventories is largely positive as it forces businesses to manufacture and buy new merchandise, reigniting the economy.