Skip to main content

Asia- Pacific Markets Closing Report: Asia-Pacific markets trade mixed as vaccine optimism clashes with economic worries

 

Saheli Roy Choudhury


SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific markets retraced some losses on Thursday to trade mixed as traders grappled with optimism around a potential coronavirus vaccine and economic worries.

In Australia, the benchmark ASX 200 erased earlier losses to finish up 0.25% at 6,547.20. The so-called Big Four banks closed higher, with Westpac up by 2.31%. Major miners were mixed, with BHP down by 0.87%.

Jobs in the country surged, beating expectations in October after the state of Victoria eased coronavirus restrictions. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed employment increased by 178,800 people from September while the unemployment rate rose fractionally from 6.9% to 7% — Victoria’s employment rose by 81,600 people.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined 0.36% to 25,634.34 while the Topix index rose 0.33% to 1,726.41. In South Korea, the Kospi index erased earlier losses to rise fractionally to 2,547.42.

Chinese mainland shares reversed course to erase earlier losses: The Shanghai composite was up 0.47% to 3,363.09, Shenzhen composite rose 0.63% to 2,275.84 and the Shenzhen component advanced 0.87% to 13,777.45. Elsewhere, in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dropped 0.46% in afternoon trade.

The session in Asia followed U.S. stocks falling for a second straight day, pausing a recent rally to new records.

“It was a consolidative day for financial markets, which are caught in the crosscurrent of vaccine optimism and near-term economic weakness,” Daniel Been, head of foreign-exchange and G3 research at ANZ, wrote in a morning note.

Coronavirus worries

TICKER COMPANY NAME PRICE CHANGE %CHANGE
.N225Nikkei 225 IndexNIKKEI25634.34-93.80-0.36
.HSIHang Seng IndexHSI26356.97-187.32-0.71
.AXJOS&P/ASX 200ASX 2006547.2016.100.25
.SSECShanghaiSHANGHAI3363.0915.780.47
.KS11KOSPI IndexKOSPI2547.421.780.07
.FTFCNBCACNBC 100 ASIA IDXCNBC 10010006.68-54.92-0.55

Currencies and oil

The dollar index, which measures the U.S. dollar against a basket of its peers, traded up 0.15% at 92.457 as of 2:52 p.m. HK/SIN, slipping from levels near 93.00 last week.

U.S. dollar “continues to be driven by conflicting headlines around vaccine progress and high infection rates (and renewed lockdowns),” said Kim Mundy, senior economist and currency strategist, at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, in a morning note.

“The risk is that a vaccine is not ready fast enough to offset near‑term economic damage of widespread lockdowns as a number of countries battle to get infection rates back under control,” Mundy said.

The Japanese yen traded near flat at 103.86 against the greenback while the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7292, dropping from earlier levels around $0.73.

Oil prices fell Thursday during Asian trading hours: U.S. crude futures were down 0.77% at $41.5 per barrel while global benchmark Brent declined 0.41% to $44.16.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Analysis | The Cybersecurity 202: How the shutdown could make it harder for the government to retain cybersecurity talent

By Joseph Marks 13-17 minutes THE KEY President Trump delivers an address about border security amid a partial government shutdown on Jan. 8. (Carolyn Kaster/AP) The partial government shutdown that's now in its 18th day is putting key cyber policy priorities on hold and leaving vital operations to a bare bones staff. But the far greater long-term danger may be the blow to government cyber defenders' morale, former officials warn. With the prospect of better pay and greater job security in the private sector, more government cyber operators are likely to decamp to industry, those former officials tell me, and the smartest cybersecurity graduates will look to industry rather than government to hone their skills. That’s especially dangerous, they say, considering the government’s struggle to recruit and retain skilled workers amid a nationwide shortage of cybersecurity talent. About 20 percent of staffers are furloughed at the De

Democrats call for investigation into Trump’s iPhone use after a report that China is listening:Analysis | The Daily 202 I The Washington Post.

washingtonpost.com By James Hohmann _________________________________________________________________________________ President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping visit the Great Hall of the People in Beijing last November. (Andrew Harnik/AP) With Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve THE BIG IDEA: If Democrats win the House in two weeks, it’s a safe bet that one of the oversight hearings they schedule for early next year would focus on President Trump’s use of unsecured cellphones. The matter would not likely be pursued with anywhere near the gusto that congressional Republicans investigated Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state. Leaders of the minority party have higher priorities . But Democratic lawmakers made clear Thursday morning that they will not ignore a New York Times report that Trump has refused to stop using iPhones in the White House, despite repeated warnings from U.S. intelligence offici

RTTNews: Morning Market Briefing.-Weekly Jobless Claims Edge Down To 444,000. May 13th 2010

Morning Market Briefing Thu May 13 09:01 2010   Commentary May 13, 2010 Stocks Poised For Lackluster Open Amid Mixed Market Sentiment - U.S. Commentary Stocks are on pace for a mixed start to Thursday's session, as a mostly upbeat jobs report continued to relieve the markets while some consternation regarding the European debt crisis remained on traders' minds. The major index futures are little changed, with the Dow futures down by 4 points. Full Article Economic News May 13, 2010 Weekly Jobless Claims Edge Down To 444,000 First-time claims for unemployment benefits showed another modest decrease in the week ended May 8th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday, although the number of claims exceeded estimates due to an upward revision to the previous week's data. Full Article May 13, 2010 Malaysia's Decade High Growth Triggers Policy Tightening Malaysia's economy grew at the fastest pace in a decade in