Japanese shares hit one-year low after falls in the US

Monday 18th saw Japanese shares hit a one-year low following following big falls in the US and as oil prices dropped below $28 a barrel for the first time since 2003. The benchmark Nikkei 225 closed down 1.1% at 16,955.57.

The Australian economy also reacted to falling oil prices. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 closed down 0.7% at 4,858.70, with energy-related stocks and banking shares weighing on the index. BHP Billiton shares fell 3%, Woodside lost 2.6%, and Santos shares fell 8.4%. The country’s big lenders also saw falls on Monday, with ANZ’s shares down 2% and Westpac’s down 1%.

In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi index closed flat at 1,878.45 after spending a lot of the day in negative figures.

In China, analysts said they expected markets to be hurt further this week by falling oil prices, together with continued worries about the country’s economic growth.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed down 1.5% at 19,237.45, while the Shanghai Composite finished the day 0.44% higher at 2,913.84.