U.S. stocks suffer worst year since 2008

U.S. stocks were down Friday afternoon, on track for their worst annual losses since 2008, according to MarketWatch.

Following suit, Asia-Pacific markets traded lower, taking the lead from US stocks' losses overnight as investors looked to the year ahead.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 0.94% to close at 26,093.67 while the Topix shed 0.72% to 1,895.27. South Korea’s Kospi fell 1.93% to 2,236.4 as the country’s retail sales for November fell 1.8%, the third consecutive month of declines, reversing gains seen in the third quarter. The S&P/ASX 200
in Australia also dropped 0.97% to close at 7,020.1, according to CNBC.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 0.97% in its final hour of trade – despite further easing of Covid restrictions takes into effect today, with stocks related to re-opening being closely watched. The city will release its trade data later in the day.

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite declined 0.44% to 3,073.7 and the Shenzhen Component traded lower to close at 10,996.4.

Today was the final trading day of what has been a difficult year for equities. A volatile bear market, persistent inflation, and aggressive Fed rate hikes harmed growth and technology companies. These factors also had an impact on investor sentiment.

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