Tokyo, Japan (BBN)-Asian stocks were lower on Tuesday as energy-related shares fell on news that oil prices had dropped to their lowest levels since 2009.
The price of West Texas crude dropped 5.8 per cent to $37.65 (£24.99) a barrel, while Brent Crude fell 5.3 per cent to $40.73, reports BBC.
Oil prices have been hit after OPEC – which is a group of the largest oil producing nations – refused to cut oil production last week.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.32 per cent at 19,635.94 points.
Investors seemed to move past positive data released earlier that showed Japan’s economy had avoided a technical recession in the three months to September.
Shares of troubled Japanese tech giant Toshiba were down 2.95 per cent in Tokyo trade after news the firm could face a record fine of 7.37bn yen ($60m; £39m) for its multi-billion dollar accounting scandal.
Fifty individual Toshiba shareholders are also seeking $2.45m in damages from the firm after its stock plunged following the accounting scandal.
Oil stocks hurting
Fresh data from China showed the country’s exports fell 3.7 per cent in yuan-denominated terms for the month of November compared to a year earlier, while imports fell 5.6 per cent.
Expectations were for a fall in exports of 2.9 per cent and a fall in imports of more than 11 per cent.
The latest figures leave the country with an overall trade surplus of 343bn yuan ($53.4bn).
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 1.36 per cent at 21,900.59, while the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.92 per cent at 3,504.58.
Shares of China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC Group) – a major oil firm in China – were down 3.14 per cent in Hong Kong trade.
In Australia, Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.56 per cent at 5,126.70 weighed down by energy stocks.
BHP Billiton’s shares were down 4.7 per cent in Sydney trade.
The firm has substantial interests in conventional and unconventional oil and gas.
South Korea’s Kospi index was down 0.47 per cent at 1,954.39.