You are here: Home » International » News » Markets
Business Standard

Asian shares fall as Delta variant of Covid-19 casts shadow over growth

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.35%, dragged down by Chinese blue chips, which fell 0.56% and Hong Kong down 0.46%

Topics
Asian Shares | Asian stocks | Delta variant of coronavirus

Reuters  |  HONG KONG 

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

By Alun John

HONG KONG (Reuters) - failed to catch a firm lead from a bumper Wall Street session on Friday as the spread of the Delta variant of the across the region heightened worries about the its economic recovery.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.35%, dragged down by Chinese blue chips, which fell 0.56% and Hong Kong down 0.46%.

Japan's Nikkei rose 0.11%.

"There are two main drivers of volatility in the market this week, firstly everything surrounding the Chinese regulatory drive, and secondly the severity of Delta outbreaks around the region," said Carlos Casanova, senior economist Asia at UBP.

China on Friday reported 124 confirmed cases for Aug. 5, its highest daily count for new cases in the current outbreak, fuelled by a surge in locally transmitted infections. Authorities have imposed travel restrictions in some cities.

Thailand and Malaysia both reported record daily cases on Thursday.

While the MSCI Asian benchmark has clawed back much of last week's China-driven losses, it is still down just over 10% from all time highs hit in February.

In contrast, the MSCI world shares index is trading just shy of a record high hit on Wednesday.

" investors are still wrapping their head around what happened in the education sector (in China), and expect that will continue to drive sentiment," said Casanova.

"The regulatory drive is not over yet, it should continue to be a factor in the next three to six months or so," he said.

Elsewhere in the region, PT Bukalapak.com Tbk, an Indonesian e-commerce company backed by Ant Group and Singapore sovereign fund GIC, rose 24.7% on its market debut after raising $1.5 billion in the country's biggest ever initial public offering.

Analysts say the listing will set the benchmark for IPO hopefuls in a region where global investors are chasing fast growing companies.

The Nasdaq and S&P 500 closed at record levels on Thursday after a spate of strong corporate earnings and a further decline in U.S. unemployment claims. Eyes are now on the jobs report for July due later today.

U.S. stock futures, the S&P 500 e-minis, were down 0.1%.

Treasury yields extended their gains in Asian hours, having earlier been helped by the healthy jobless claims report.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes yields rose to 1.2369% compared with its U.S. close of 1.217% on Thursday.

This had a knock-on effect for the dollar, which rose against the yen to a week high.

The stronger dollar and potential for higher yields hurt gold. The spot price fell 0.12% to $1,801.81.

Oil paused for breath in early Asian trading on Friday, but was set for its biggest weekly loss since October after falls earlier in the week due to rising COVID-19 cases and a surprise build in U.S. crude stockpiles.

U.S. crude was $69.1 a barrel, up 0.01%. Brent crude was $71.28 per barrel, down 0.01%.

 

(Editing by Sam Holmes)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Fri, August 06 2021. 08:38 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.