Japan falls nearly 2%; Asia-Pacific shares slip as pandemic concerns weigh on sentiment
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 250 points overnight on Wall Street as reopening plays declined.
- Australia's preliminary retail sales data for March is expected at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN.
- Markets in India are closed on Wednesday for a holiday.
In this article
SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific fell in Wednesday morning trade as a surge in coronavirus cases in countries like India weighs on the economic outlook and investor sentiment.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dropped 1.69% in early trade while the Topix index slipped 1.71%. South Korea's Kospi shed 0.7%.
Shares in Australia also declined as the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.59%. Australia's preliminary retail sales data for March is expected at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.33% lower.
Reopening plays like airlines fell, with shares of Qantas Airways in Australia dropping 1.8% while Japan Airlines and ANA Holdings in Japan declined 0.89% and 1.08%, respectively.
The losses came after their counterparts tumbled overnight stateside. United Airlines shares plummeted more than 8% after the company reported a fifth consecutive quarterly loss. CEO Scott Kirby said it is still unclear when international and business travel will recover.
Markets in India are closed on Wednesday for a holiday. The coronavirus situation in the country remains severe, with 259,170 new daily infections registered on Tuesday. The World Health Organization warned Friday that global Covid infection rate is approaching its highest level ever.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 256.33 points to 33,821.30 while the S&P 500 declined 0.68% to 4,134.94. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.92% to 13,786.27.
Currencies and oil
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against its peers, was at 91.21 following a drop from above 91.6 earlier this week.
The Japanese yen traded at 108.08 per dollar, still stronger than levels above 109.2 against the greenback seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7723, lower than levels above $0.777 seen yesterday.
Oil prices slipped in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.44% to $66.28 per barrel. U.S. crude futures slipped 0.49% to $62.36 per barrel.
Here's a look at what's on tap:
- Australia: Preliminary retail sales data for March at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN
Source: Read Full Article