Japan’s credit rating downgrade sends Asian markets lower

<p>Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade Japan’s credit rating sent most of the major Asian markets in negative territory for most of the day. In […]</p>

Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade Japan’s credit rating sent most of the major Asian markets in negative territory for most of the day.

In Japan, the sell-off was heaviest on the Technology and Oil and Gas sectors both down approximately 2%.

Last night, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s cut down Japan’s credit rating from AA to AA-, citing concerns over the country’s high debt levels.

Canon shares fell 3.1% after it posted an October-December net profit 12% lower on year due to higher sales promotion costs and lower prices of compact cameras. Electronics company NEClost 2.8% after posting a wider than expected loss for the third quarter.

It was a similar story for the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong with the Oil and Gas Sector down 3.2% by mid-session. Stocks on the Hang Seng have dropped to a 3-week low. The sell-off was led byCNOOC Ltd down 5.8% after output growth was forecasted to slow and China Merchant Holdings which was down 3%.

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