Asian Stock MarketsAsian Markets Mostly Lower, Hong Kong Leads Losses.

A trader sits and watches the screen at the Shanghai Stock Exchange [Image: Bloomberg]

Asian stock markets are mostly lower on Monday, following broadly negative cues from Wall Street on Friday. The markets are cautious amid the surge in coronavirus cases in the region, particularly in Japan and India, as well as the possibility of lockdowns in several markets. A couple of major markets are also closed for a holiday. Asian markets closed mostly lower on Friday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was among the biggest losers regionally as it fell 1.28% to finish its trading day at 28,357.54. The Taiex in Taiwan also dropped 1.96% to close at 17,222.35.

asian Markets
Hang Seng Index Performance Chart

 

South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.66% to close at 3,127.20. Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 ended the trading day slightly higher at 7,028.80.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.72%.

Investors in Asia-Pacific continued monitoring the Covid situation in India as the country continues to battle a deadly second wave of infections. Over the weekend, more than 400,000 daily new cases were registered for the first time.

Markets in China, Japan, and Thailand were closed on Monday for holidays.

“We’re now at a point where I’m observing excesses and imbalances in financial markets, I’m very attentive to that, and that’s why I do think at the earliest opportunity I think will be appropriate for us to start talking about adjusting those purchases.” Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan

Asian Markets Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 91.241 after rising late last month from below 90.9.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.68 per dollar, weaker than levels below 108.5 against the greenback seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.772, following its tumble in late April from above $0.776.

Oil prices fell on Monday as a fatal second wave of a coronavirus epidemic hit India cutting short the demand outlook, offsetting optimism about a strong rebound in demand in developed countries and China in the second half of the year.

Brent crude futures for July fell 15 cents, or 0.2%, to $66.61 a barrel by 0244 GMT. while U.S. West Texas Intermediate for June was at $63.48 a barrel, down 10 cents, or 0.2%.

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