Equities across the region mostly fell off down as virus spikes had a ripple effect across trading floors but investors remain upbeat about the longer term with vaccine rollouts accelerating
Markets across Asia fell on Tuesday with investors concerned about fresh coronavirus flare-ups and the reimposition of restrictions in parts of the world.
With news of President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure deal having run its course and inflation worries continuing to linger, traders are choosing to sit tight ahead of key US jobs data later in the week and the beginning of corporate earnings season next month.
Still, analysts said that despite a pause in the latest run-up, the outlook for equities remained positive as vaccines are rolled out globally.
The Nasdaq and S&P 500 each clocked up from records Monday, helped by a fresh bump in tech firms. But Asia was unable to follow suit, with eyes on the spread of the coronavirus.
With the more contagious Delta virus variant sending infection rates soaring, several governments are being forced to act to prevent another deadly wave of the disease.
In Australia, the cities of Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Darwin have all been put into lockdown, with leaders in the country also struggling to get its inoculation programme up to speed.
The disease has also led to similar measures in South Africa, while Russia, parts of Asia, Europe and South America have also witnessed worrying spikes.
Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Shanghai and Mumbai all fell, though there were gains in Wellington, Jakarta, Bangkok and Manila.
The Hang Seng Index fell 0.94%, or 274.20 points, to 28,994.10.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.92%, or 33.19 points, to 3,573.18, while the Shenzhen Composite Index on China’s second exchange sank 0.91%, or 22.40 points, to 2,441.26.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.81%, or 235.41 points, to 28,812.61, with some investors worried the Tokyo Olympics could lead to a spike in infections in Japan, while the broader Topix index fell 0.82%, or 16.19 points, to 1,949.48.
Oil prices edged up after the previous day’s sharp losses, which had been driven by concerns that the fresh lockdowns will dampen demand.
Brent dropped 2% on Monday and WTI fell 1.5%, though they are both sitting at multi-year highs and observers remain optimistic they will continue to rise over the coming months as the recovery progresses.
The drops also came on the back of bets that OPEC and other major producers will decide to lift output at their meeting this week.
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.8%t at 28,812.61 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.9% at 28,994.10 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.9% at 3,573.18 (close)
New York – Dow: DOWN 0.4% at 34,283.27 (close)
- Reporting by AFP