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Japanese stocks lead declines in Asia-Pacific; China reports inflation data

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Reflections of pedestrians on an electronics stock indicator at the window of a securities company in Tokyo, Japan.

Toshifumi Kitamura | AFP | Getty Images

SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific markets were under pressure on Tuesday, following a sell-off in tech stocks that weighed down major U.S. indexes overnight.

Japanese stocks led declines across the region, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 shedding around 2.6% while the Topix moved 2% lower. South Korea’s Kospi fell around 1.7%.

In Australia, the ASX 200 inched down 0.8% ahead of the government’s budget announcement on Tuesday evening.

Greater China markets also opened lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 2.3%, while stocks in Shanghai and Shenzhen were down by 0.6% and 1%, respectively.

China said Tuesday consumer prices in April jumped 0.9% from a year ago, slightly missing the 1% forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll. However, the producer price index rose 6.8%, beating the 6.5% projected by analysts polled by Reuters.

In addition to inflation data, China is also expected to release results of its once-in-a-decade population census.

Elsewhere in the region, Southeast Asian countries Malaysia and the Philippines are scheduled to report first-quarter gross domestic product data.

Analysts in a Reuters poll expect Malaysia’s economy to shrink 2% in in the January-to-March quarter compared with a year ago and the Philippine economy to contract 3% in the same period.

In the foreign exchange market, the U.S. dollar strengthened 0.08% to 90.281 against a basket of its peers in early Asia trade.

Major Asia-Pacific currencies mostly weakened against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday.

The Japanese yen changed hands at 108.91 per dollar, while the Korean won traded at 1,118.79 per dollar.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was roughly flat against the greenback at $0.7833.

In oil markets, U.S. crude futures fell 0.6% to $64.53 per barrel, while global benchmark Brent was down 0.59% to $67.92 per barrel.

CNBC’s Thomas Franck contributed to this report.

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