Asian equities tumbled on the final trading day of this week, with the Japanese stocks joining the global market territory on return from a public holiday. Nikkei leads the decline on firmer yen The Japanese benchmark index, the Nikkei 225 slumps –5.34% to fresh sixteen-month lows at 14,885 points, mainly driven by the sharp appreciation seen in the yen against the greenback. USD/JPY plunged to the lowest levels since Oct 2014 at 110.98 on Thursday, and now attempts a minor-recovery near 112.20 levels. Exporters' stocks and banking sector stocks were the worst performers and weighed heavily on the index as the central banks’ actions globally remains in focus after the negative interest rates policy era commences and rattles investors’ confidence. The Australian markets also tracked its Asian counterpart lower, with the ASX 200 index now declining -1.04% to 4,770. Markets appear to completely ignore the strong rally in oil prices as focus remains on the global equities rout and the extension into the global market. Hong Kong stocks fell Thursday in their worst start to a lunar new year since 1994 and now drops nearly -1% to 18,367. Markets in mainland China, Taiwan and Vietnam remain closed for the holidays. For more information, read our latest forex news.