BANGKOK (AP) - Asian stocks continued to retreat today after being routed the day before by unexpectedly weak Chinese manufacturing and fears the Federal Reserve will start withdrawing its monetary stimulus.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index, which plummeted more than 7 percent Thursday, reversed a big morning gain and shed 0.7 percent to 14,391.74 as the yen strengthened against the dollar. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.1 percent to 1,971.23.
The Nikkei's dramatic fall Thursday was attributed on the spike in the interest rate on the country's benchmark 10-year bond to above 1 percent for the first time in a year, which came after Fed meeting minutes showed some of its policy makers want the U.S. central bank to start scaling back its monetary stimulus.
The swing in Japanese bonds unnerved investors at a time when Japan's already overburdened government finances are vulnerable to rises in interest rates.
Benchmark crude oil fell below $94 per barrel. The dollar rose against the euro and weakened against the yen.