Asian stocks fall as Delta variants cast shadows on growth Reuters


© Reuters. File picture: On February 3, 2020, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, China, on the first trading day since the Lunar New Year, investors sat in front of the board of directors of a brokerage company showing stock information.China Daily via Reuters

By Alan John

HONG KONG (Reuters)-Asian stock markets failed to gain a solid lead from Wall Street’s rally on Friday as the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus in the region heightened concerns about its economic recovery.

The MSCI Asia Pacific’s broadest index outside of Japan fell 0.35%, dragged down by Chinese blue chip stocks, Chinese blue chip stocks fell 0.56%, and Hong Kong fell 0.46%.

Increased by 0.11%.

“There are two main drivers of market volatility this week. The first is everything driven by China’s regulation, and the second is the severity of the epidemic in the delta in the region,” said Carlos Casanova, senior economist for UBP Asia.

China reported 124 confirmed cases on August 5 on Friday, the highest daily count of new coronavirus cases in the current outbreak, driven 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.

Although the MSCI Asian benchmark index has recovered most of the China-driven decline last week, it is still down more than 10% from the historical high set in February.

In contrast, the trading price of the Morgan Stanley Capital International World Stock Index was slightly lower than the record high set on Wednesday.

Casanova said: “International investors are still paying attention to what is happening in the (Chinese) education industry and expect this to continue to drive market sentiment.”

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

Elsewhere in the region, Indonesian e-commerce company PT Bukalapak.com Tbk, backed by Ant Group and Singapore’s sovereign fund GIC, raised $1.5 billion in the country’s largest ever IPO, and rose 24.7 on its first day of listing. %.

Analysts said that in regions where global investors are chasing fast-growing companies, the listing will set the benchmark for companies that are promising for an IPO.

The Nasdaq index closed at a record high on Thursday, after strong company performance and a further decline in the number of unemployment benefits in the United States. Now pay attention to the July employment report to be released later today.

US stock index futures fell 0.1%.

U.S. Treasury yields continued their gains during the Asian session, after being boosted by reports of healthy initial jobless claims.

The benchmark yield rose to 1.2369%, while the US closed at 1.217% on Thursday.

This had a ripple effect on the U.S. dollar, and the U.S. dollar rose to a one-week high against the yen.

The potential for a stronger dollar and rising yields hurt gold. The spot price fell 0.12% to 1,801.81 US dollars.

Oil prices suspended their respite in early Asian trading on Friday, but after falling earlier this week due to an increase in COVID-19 cases and an unexpected increase in inventories, they will record their biggest weekly decline since October.

The price of US crude oil was US$69.1 per barrel, an increase of 0.01%. It was 71.28 US dollars per barrel, down 0.01%.





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