Asia Markets: Asia-Pacific markets slump, following losses in U.S., Europe

Equity markets across the Asia-Pacific region were lower Friday, tracking declines in the U.S. and Europe, as investors become more cautious about the prospects of global central bank tightening.

Australia was leading the declines early in the session, as a slump in the country’s bank stocks pressured the benchmark index. Mining stocks there also fell following a report that the Australian government is expecting iron ore to have an average price of $62.40 per metric ton this year, down from an earlier forecast of $65.20.

The ASX/S&P 200 XJO, -1.16% was last down 1.2%, with shares of Macquarie Group MQG, -1.51% down 1.8%, while Westpac Banking WBC, -1.30% was off 1.4% and National Australia Bank NAB, -1.26% declined 1.3%.

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