Stock markets in Asia closed Friday in the red amid rising cases of the omicron variant of coronavirus.

China’s exports increased by 20.9% and imports by 19.5% on an annual basis in December, resulting in a record foreign trade surplus of $94.5 billion.

In Japan, on the other hand, the Producer Price Index (PPI) increased by 8.5% year-on-year in December and decreased by 0.2% on a monthly basis.

The Central Bank of South Korea increased interest rates for the second consecutive year from 1% to 1.25%. Signaling that interest rate hikes may continue in the coming months, the bank reported that inflation pressure is stronger than previous forecasts.

The Asia Dow, which includes the region’s blue-chip companies, lost 39.41 points, or 1.01%, to close at 3,870 points.

Losing 364.85 points, or 1.28%, the Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo closed at 28,124.

The Hang Seng, the benchmark for blue-chip stocks trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange, went down 46.45 points, or 0.19%, to 24,383.

China’s Shanghai stock exchange, on the other hand, posted a fall of 34 points, or 0.96%, to 3,521.

The Indian Sensex benchmark diminished 12.27 points, or 0.02%, to close at 61,223, while the Singapore index rose 24.67 points, or 0.76%, to 3,281.

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.