Stock market: Asian stocks mixed as virus fears economic outlook will darken

TOKYO – Asian stocks were mixed on Monday, as fears of further waves of coronavirus outbreaks clouded the region’s economic outlook, tempering gains.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 was little changed in afternoon trading, advancing less than 0.1% to 30,254.01 after zigzagging earlier in the day. The Australian S & P / ASX 200 gained 0.8% to 7,404.30. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.2% to 3,131.83. The Hong Kong Hang Seng gained 0.7% to 24,360.55, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.6% to 3,591.49.

Japan’s ruling party is holding elections later this week to choose a leader, who is likely to succeed Yoshihide Suga as prime minister after just a year in office. All the candidates are certain to stick to the nation’s pro-American policies, despite some nuance in their opinions.

They also all promise to increase public spending in an attempt to catalyze the growth of the world’s third-largest economy.

Analysts also say that Japan’s central bank’s third-quarter economic “tankan” survey, due out on Friday, is likely to show worsening trading conditions due to various supply chain disruptions and new outbreaks. COVID-19 in many regions.

Although some parts of the world have lifted COVID-19-related restrictions and are gradually returning to ‘normal’ life, concerns remain in Asia about new waves of infections, as vaccine rollout has been slower than the West in some countries.

In Singapore, new COVID-19 restrictions have been launched in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus, as new cases daily exceeded the city-state peak reached in April 2020.

“Overall, the manufacturing sector may remain resilient as shown by previous phases of restraint, but the service sector may be under pressure. That said, previous trade adjustments and a softer tightening from past restraint phases can help reduce some impacts, ”Yeap said. Jun Rong, Market Strategist at IG Singapore.

Wall Street closed a choppy trading week with a mixed finish for major stock indexes, although the S&P 500 managed its first weekly gain in three weeks.

The S&P 500 rose 0.1% to 4,455.48 and is now less than 1.9% of the all-time high it hit on September 2. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.1% to 34,798. The Nasdaq slipped less than 0.1% to 15,047.70, while the Russell 2000 fell 0.5% to 2,248.07.

U.S. markets had a tough September and investors could face greater volatility given a variety of concerns including COVID-19 and its lingering impact on the economy, as well as a slow recovery in the labor market. .

Concerns over struggling Chinese real estate developer Evergrande still weigh on global markets. Some Chinese banks on Friday revealed what they were owed by Evergrande, seeking to allay fears of financial turmoil as it grapples with $ 310 billion in debt.

In energy trading, benchmark US crude added 92 cents to $ 74.90 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 68 cents to $ 73.98 a barrel on Friday. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 93 cents to $ 79.02 a barrel.

In currency trading, the US dollar edged down to 110.64 Japanese yen from 110.72 yen. The euro cost $ 1.1719, compared to $ 1.1713.

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