FXStreet (Mumbai) - Risk-off returned to markets in the Asian trades this Wednesday amid renewed selling in oil and Asian equities. As in a classic risk-off environment, safe-havens were in demand, while traders stayed away from risky assets. Key headlines in Asia Oil back in the red, WTI hits new 12-year low BoJ reportedly frustrated with wage negotiations New Zealand Consumer Price Index (QoQ) below expectations (-0.2%) in 4Q: Actual (-0.5%) Dominating themes in Asia – centered on JPY, AUD and NZD A renewed risk-aversion wave hit Asia today after the oil prices resumed their dominant bear trend, with US oil hitting fresh 12-year lows, and hence, a sea of red was seen across the financial markets. Investors ran for cover towards safe-havens, seeking to protect their assets amid resurfacing global growth concerns, China slowdown fears and market unrest. The IMF on Tuesday slashed global growth forecasts from 3.4% to 3.6% for 2016 on the back of China headwinds. While the Chinese Q4 GDP print released yesterday revealed the world’s second largest economy saw the slowest pace of growth in a quarter century. China’s Q4 GDP q/y dropped 6.8% versus 6.9% expectations. As a result, safe-haven such as the gold, yen, CHF and the euro were strongly bid, with the Japanese currency emerging a clear winner. USD/JPY dropped -0.60% to 116.90 levels, EUR/USD rallied 0.40% and took-out 100-DMA at 1.0950, while gold ticked 0.20% higher to trade at $ 1093. ON the other hand, the GBP was the strongest amongst the riskier currencies, while the Antipodeans dived deep in the red on intensifying risk-off and also on respective fundamentals. The kiwi slumped to fresh four-month lows of 0.6367 after the NZ CPI fell more than expected owing to lower energy prices. Consumer prices in New Zealand fell at the fastest quarterly pace in seven years in Q4, with the CPI declining 0.5% in the last quarter of 2015, against a drop of 0.2% estimated. The AUD/USD pair heads towards multi-year lows as selling persists on weaker than expected Westpac consumer sentiment numbers. The Aussie now loses -0.53% to 0.6870. On the equities space, the Japanese stocks were heavily sold-off into the global market turmoil, with the Nikkei index dropping -3% to 16,544. Australia’s S&P/ASX index drops to 4,839, recording a -1.30% loss into the closing hours. The Chinese equities also sink, with the Shanghai Composite down -1.40% below 3k threshold, while Shenzhen’s CSI300 index trades -1.64%. Hong Kong’s the Hang Seng falls -4.03% to 18,844 – fresh 3-year lows. Heading into Europe and North America An eventful trading calendar ahead as we head towards Europe, with the UK employment report likely to steal the show, while the second-tier data in the German PPI will fill in an other-wise quiet EMU docket. The UK unemployment rate in November is widely expected to stay at the ten year-low of 5.2%. In addition, average weekly earnings might marginally decrease to 1.8% for the same period, following a figure of 2.0% previously. Later in the North American session, the US inflation report is due to be published, with consumer prices set to rise 0.8% on an annual basis, while the Core figures are expected to hit 2.1% y/y. Also, the US building permits and housing starts releases are on the cards, with permits most probably falling 6.4% in December. On the upside, housing starts might see a 2.3% hike. We also have the Bank of Canada (BOC) monetary policy report followed by rate statement and the Poloz’s press conference. Analysts at Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) explained, “A (BOC) rate cut would not be surprising. However, subjectively we see a modest chance that with the new government pursuing a more accommodative fiscal policy that the central bank bides its time. It also may not want to be seen panicking in response to the market turmoil over the last couple of weeks, which has included a 4.7% decline in the Canadian dollar, which is tantamount to some degree of easing. Even if the Bank of Canada chose to ease policy, it might prefer to launch an asset purchase program instead of pushing the overnight rate any lower (currently at 50 bp). “ For more information, read our latest forex news.