Asian Markets Closing Report: Asia-Pacific stocks mixed as sentiment remains cautious on coronavirus risk; oil prices fall
SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Wednesday as coronavirus infections continue to rise stateside, while oil prices dropped.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dipped 0.3%, as of its final hour of trading.
Shares in Australia were higher, as the S&P/ASX 200 added 0.11% to close at 6,057.70.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.07% lower.
On the economic data front, Australia’s consumer price index rose 1.6% in the September quarter as compared to the previous quarter, according to data released Wednesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The rise in the September quarter followed a “record fall” of 1.9% in the June 2020 quarter, according to the ABS.
Following that data release, the Australian dollar traded at $0.7139, following an earlier low of $0.7111.
Investor sentiment on Wednesday was likely impacted by the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the U.S.
“Markets remain in a cautious mood given rising hospitalisation rates may require tougher restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19 and ensure hospitals do not become overwhelmed,” Tapas Strickland, director of economics at National Australia Bank, wrote in a note.
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