The Nikkei 225 closes lower by 1.13% at 20,900.63

Nikkei 15-02

It was mostly a broad-based decline but notably financials and exporters took a knock on the back of weaker Treasury yields and a lower USD/JPY (stronger yen) since overnight trading.

The two moves were sparked from the abysmal US retail sales data and is then exacerbated by simmering optimism seen in trade talks between US and China in Beijing.

The latter has kept Asian equities pressured today with the Hang Seng down by 1.7% currently while the Shanghai Composite index is lower by 0.9% at the moment. Despite the drop today, the Nikkei is still closing the week higher by 2.8%.

Looking ahead, European stocks are likely to follow similar negative tones seen here and in US equity futures - which are down 0.4% - so that will keep the yen underpinned as we begin the European morning session.