Tokyo, Japan (BBN)-Asian markets suffered a lower start after a meeting of oil producers ended without a deal on output cuts.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index had fallen by 3 per cent at the lunch break to 16,344.09, while in South Korea the Kospi was down by 0.4 per cent to 2,006.23, reports BBC.
In Australia the commodities-heavy benchmark S&P ASX 200 index traded down 10 points at midday to 5,147.40.
Shares of energy-related firms all traded lower.
BHP Billiton lost 3 per cent.
Woodside Petroleum shares lost 2 per cent and shares of Rio Tinto gave up 1.5 per cent.
Oil prices fell after a meeting of the world’s leading oil exporters in Qatar failed to secure an agreement.
The international oil benchmark Brent traded down by more than 5 per cent to about $40.87 a barrel.
US crude futures were lower by 5.5 per cent at $38.16 a barrel.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, appeared willing to only freeze output if all Opec members agreed, including Iran.
But Iran maintained it would continue the increase in oil production it has followed since economic sanctions were lifted earlier this year.
Iran was not at the meeting in Qatar.
The next Opec meeting is scheduled to take place in June.
“Given the strong correlation between the oil price and equities, Asian markets are not looking like they will have a good start to the week,” said Angus Nicholson, market analyst at IG in Melbourne.
Elsewhere in the region, the benchmark Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was was lower by 1.1 per cent to 21,088.79.
Meanwhile in China the Shanghai composite traded down 1.3 per cent to 3,038.55.
Earthquake impact
Market sentiment in Japan was also dented by an earthquake which hit the south of the country at the weekend.
Toyota shares traded down by more than 5 per cent in Monday’s session.
The automaker has suspended production at various facilities across the country this week.
The company’s supply chain was disrupted when an earthquake hit the Kumamoto prefecture last Saturday.
That region is an important manufacturing hub for many big Japanese firms.
Toyota’s rival Honda, as well as electronics giant Sony, also had to suspend production at their plants there.
Saturday’s magnitude-7.3 quake struck at 01:25 (15:25 GMT on Friday) close to the city of Kumamoto, which had been hit by a magnitude-6.4 quake on Thursday night.
Both quakes were shallow, causing huge damage to roads, bridges and tunnels.
Big landslides had cut off remote mountain villages.
Yahoo deadline
Today’s the deadline for preliminary bids for Yahoo’s media assets, which include Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports and a range of digital magazines.
According to various media reports, potential suitors range from private equity firm TPG to the owner of the UK’s Daily Mail.
Yahoo has set a deadline for 18 April for interested parties to submit their offers.
Yahoo has been under pressure from shareholders to turn itself around.
The company’s shares have fallen by about 30 per cent since the end of 2014.