Asian Pacific Stocks Mostly Decline as Fear of Rising COVID-19 Cases Worry Investors
Asia-Pacific stocks mostly declined on Monday, with shares in India and China recording great losses.
The losses came as the COVID-19 situation in the country remains severe, with India recording high cases and considering a lockdown.
Both the Nifty 50 and BSE Sensex in India dropped more than 3% each, as of 1:45 p.m. local time.
Meanwhile, mainland Chinese stocks also fell on the day. The Shanghai composite declined 1.09% to 3,412.95 while the Shenzhen component dropped 2.299% to 13,495.72. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped nearly 1% as of its final hour of trading.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.77% to close at 29,538.73, while the Topix index finished its trading day 0.25% lower at 1,954.59. South Korea’s Kospi bucked the regional trend to close 0.12% higher at 3,135.59.
Stocks in Australia slipped. The S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.3% on the day to 6,974.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan declined 1.06%.
Incorporate developments, shares of Alibaba in Hong Kong soared 6.51% on Monday. The moves came after Chinese regulators slapped the firm with an 18.23 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) fine in its tech company’s anti-monopoly probe.
Elsewhere, shares Korea’s LG Chem rose 0.shares 62% and SK Innovation popped by nearly 12% after battery makers, LG Energy Solution — a spin-off from LG Chem and SK Innovation came to a settlement over a trade secrets dispute.
Asian Markets Currencies and oil
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.282, following its decline earlier this month from above 92.8.
The Japanese yen traded at 109.43 per dollar, stronger than levels above 110.5 against the greenback seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7613 following turbulent trade last week that saw it swinging from above $0.765 to around $0.759.
Oil prices edged higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.38% to $63.19 per barrel. U.S. crude futures were slightly higher by about 0.19% to $59.43 per barrel.