- Shares in Asia-Pacific stay offered as covid concerns haunt investors.
- India leads the infection tally, unfortunately, Japan eyes third emergency.
- Upbeat Aussie Retail Sales, vaccine hopes fail to restore market confidence.
- Off in New Delhi, light calendar test the bears.
Asian equity traders remain depressed on early Wednesday as the region becomes the epicenter of the coronavirus (COVID-19) infections. Also weighing the sentiment could be the downbeat performance of Wall Street and strong Treasury yields.
MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan drops 0.97% intraday whereas Japan’s Nikkei 225 prints 2.00% loss on a day by the press time. Australia’s ASX 200 and New Zealand’s NZX 50 register 0.90% and 1.35% intraday losses while Chinese shares buck the trend with mild intraday gains.
Markets in India are off due to Ram Navmi but those from South Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines don’t hesitate to drop amid the COVID-19 fears.
Australia registered strong Retail Sales and Westpac Leading Index for March whereas New Zealand’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Q1 2021 was also among the positive from the Pacific leaders. Furthermore, the RBNZ’s preferred measure of inflation also improved in March but the fears of economic slowdown and activity restrictions dominate above all.
Also on the market positive side were chatters over Israel’s import of Moderna booster and optimism concerning the Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.
Against the general moves, Chinese shares seem to cheer hopes of faster economic growth at home, backed by President Xi Jinping’s upbeat comments, as well the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) sustained support for easy money policy.
Elsewhere, Wall Street benchmarks dropped for the second consecutive day and the S&P 500 Futures also print mild losses so far during Thursday. Furthermore, the US dollar index (DXY) keeps the previous day’s bounce off seven-week lows while strangely tracking the US Treasury yields’ recovery moves.
Looking forward, a light calendar in Asia and dominance of the COVID-19 headlines will keep Asia-Pacific traders searching for hopes of overcoming the pandemic.
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