Tokyo, Japan (BBN)-Several markets across Asia were down in early trade on Tuesday, despite an oil price rise overnight and a positive lead from Wall Street.
Brent crude rose above $40 a barrel for the first time this year, reports BBC.
The price of iron ore also shot up, rising almost 20 per cent, due in part to a surge in demand for the metal from China’s refineries.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 1.07 per cent to 16,730.77 in mid-morning trade, despite some surprising economic numbers.
A stronger yen against the dollar was weighing on investor sentiment and hurting some of Japan’s big exporters.
Toyota shares were down about 1 per cent, Honda fell 2 per cent and Nissan dipped about 2.5 per cent.
Fresh official figures released on Tuesday showed Japan’s economy shrank less than previously thought in the last three months of 2015.
The annualised numbers surprised analysts, who had been expecting to see a contraction of 1.5 per cent, compared to a previous reading of a contraction of 1.4 per cent for the period.
Elsewhere, commodity and energy-related stocks were dragging on the Australian market, despite the price rises in oil and iron ore.
Sydney-listed shares in Fortescue Metals were down more than 10.5 per cent, after rising close to 24 per cent on Monday.
Reports late on Monday said Brazil’s Vale was in talks with Australia’s Fortescue to take a minority stake in the company.
The proposal could help the two companies match the quality of iron ore produced by rival Rio Tinto, which is seen as the benchmark in China.
Rio Tinto shares were down more than 2 per cent in Sydney trade.
In China, investors will be watching for fresh data from Beijing when it releases its latest trade numbers later.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 0.24 per cent to 20,101.66, while the Shanghai Composite was flat, down just 0.06 per cent to 2,895.67.
In South Korea, the Kospi index was down 0.5 per cent to 1,948.27 points.