Japan’s Nikkei leads losses among Asian markets after Israel carries out operation in Iran

Japan's Nikkei leads losses among Asian markets after Israel carries out operation in Iran

The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), operated by Japan Exchange Group Inc. (JPX), in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024. Kosuke Okahara/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Japan’s Nikkei 225 led losses in Asia on Friday, falling 3.3%, while the broad based Topix fell 2.78%, along with declines in most other major Asian markets.

The losses come as a person familiar with the matter told NBC News that Israel carried out an operation in Iran. Stocks and risk assets tumbled, while safe havens rose.

Gold hit an all-time high as the Japanese yen also strengthened, while bitcoin plunged. Oil prices jumped more than 3% with global benchmark Brent crude futures crossing $90 a barrel. U.S. stock futures dropped more than 1%.

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On Friday, Japan released its March inflation data, with the headline inflation rate coming in at 2.7%, down from the 2.8% seen in February.

The core inflation rate — which strips out fresh food prices — stood at 2.6%, in line with expectations from economists polled by Reuters.

South Korea’s Kospi was 2.83% lower after leading gains in Asia on Thursday, while the small-cap Kosdaq tumbled 3.25%

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.59% lower.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 1.49%, while the mainland Chinese CSI 300 slipped 0.68%.

Overnight on Wall Street, all three major indexes ended mixed, with the S&P 500 posting five straight days of losses, its longest losing streak since last October. The broad index lost 0.22%, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.52%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.06%, closing just above its flatline for 2024.

— CNBC’s Brian Evans and Alex Harring contributed to this report.