GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares, oil hit by coronavirus risks to outlook

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares, oil hit by coronavirus risks to outlook
Credit: © Reuters.

* Asian stock markets:

* Risk aversion resurfaces as virus concerns return

* Rising infections in India rattle energy markets

* Bond traders eagerly await 20-year Treasury auction

By Stanley White

TOKYO, April 21 (Reuters) - Asian shares and U.S. stock futures fell on Wednesday as concern about a resurgence of coronavirus cases in some countries cast doubt on the strength of global growth and demand for crude oil.

European stocks looked set for a more promising start, however, with Euro Stoxx 50 futures STXEc1 up 0.28%, Germany's DAX futures FDXc1 up 0.25% and Britain's FTSE futures FFIc1 up 0.15%.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS fell 1.08%. Australian stocks .AXJO dropped 0.56% but shares in China .CSI300 recouped early losses and rose 0.29% due to positive earnings from the healthcare and banking sectors.

Stocks in Tokyo .N225 slumped by 1.95% due the growing likelihood that Tokyo, Osaka and surrounding areas will be put on lockdown due to a new wave of coronavirus infections.

S&P 500 e-mini stock futures EScv1 also fell 0.18%.

Crude futures extended declines from a one-month high on speculation that coronavirus restrictions in India, the world's third-largest oil importer, will hurt energy demand. optimism about rising vaccination rates in the United States, Britain, and Europe is shifting to concern that record coronavirus infections in India and the reinforcement of travel restrictions will act as a brake on the global economy.

"Renewed concerns about the global economic recovery weighed on commodity prices and commodity currencies. Many countries around the world, such as India and Brazil, set new records for infections and deaths," analysts at Commonwealth Bank of Australia said in a research note.

"As long as the virus persists, there is a risk virus mutants develop and spread to other countries."

Declines in Asian shares followed a downbeat day on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 0.75%, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 0.68%, and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC fell 0.92% on Tuesday as investors sold airlines and travel-related shares due to fear of a delayed recovery in global tourism.

Some tech shares and companies that benefited from stay-at-home demand could face further pressure after Netflix Inc NFLX.O reported disappointing subscriber growth for its movie streaming service, which sent its shares down 11% in after-hours trading. index of global shares .MIWD00000PUS fell 0.3%.

U.S. crude CLc1 dipped 0.69% to $62.24 a barrel, while Brent crude LCOc1 fell 0.59% to $66.18 per barrel.

India, the world's second most populous country, reported its worst daily COVID-19 death toll on Tuesday, with large parts of the country now under lockdown. India's financial markets were closed on Wednesday for a holiday.

The Norwegian crown NOK=D3 fell for a second session on Wednesday, but the Canadian dollar CAD=D3 and the Mexican peso MXN= steadied. Analysts say more declines for the currencies of major oil exporters are likely if energy prices continue to fall.

The dollar index =USD against a basket of six major currencies traded near a seven-week low, hurt by a dip in U.S. Treasury yields as some investors sought the safety of holding government debt.

Investors are closely watching an auction of 20-year Treasuries later on Wednesday, which will be an important gauge of global demand for fixed income.

Ahead of the auction results, the yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes US10YT=RR traded at 1.5626%, near a six-week low. Yields on 20-year Treasuries US20YT=RR stood at 2.1481%, close to a seven-week low.

In a sign of growing risk aversion, spot gold XAU= traded at $1,783.39 per ounce, close to a seven-week high reached on Monday. GOL/

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