GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks dip as virus spread tamps vaccine hopes

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks dip as virus spread tamps vaccine hopes
Credit: © Reuters.

By Lawrence Delevingne

BOSTON, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Stocks in Asia were poised to pull back after markets in the United States and Europe sold off on concerns over rising coronavirus infections.

Australian S&P/ASX 200 .AXJO shares dipped 0.12% in early trading. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index futures HSIc1 lost 0.16%, while {{178|Japan's Ni Nikkei 225 futures NKc1 added just 0.22%.

"Sentiment sagged overnight, amid rising Covid cases, warnings from Fed Chair Powell, and further setbacks in US stimulus talks," Westpac strategists for New Zealand and Australia wrote in a note Friday.

New U.S. COVID-19 infections hit fresh records and were above 100,000 for an eighth consecutive day, according to a Reuters tally. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Thursday during a discussion with other central bankers that progress in developing a coronavirus vaccine was welcome news but that near-term economic risks remain as infections accelerate, underscoring the likely need for additional government stimulus. Thursday, top Democrats in the U.S. Congress urged renewed negotiations over a multitrillion-dollar coronavirus aid proposal, but the top Republican immediately rejected their approach as too expensive, continuing a months-long impasse. Street dropped in a broad sell-off. The blue-chip Dow .DJI was pulled down by industrial and financial companies sensitive to economic growth, with Boeing (NYSE: BA ) Co BA.N and Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ) GS.N down 3% and 1.6%, respectively.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 317.46 points, or 1.08%, to 29,080.17 and the S&P 500 .SPX lost 35.65 points, or 1.00%, to 3,537.01. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite .IXIC fared slightly better, dropping 76.84 points, or 0.65%, to 11,709.59.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX lost 0.88% and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS shed 0.62%.

U.S. Treasury yields also sank on Thursday, weighed down by the persistent rise in coronavirus cases and data showing inflation remained benign in the world's largest economy. The U.S. yield curve, viewed in part as a gauge of risk appetite, also flattened. U.S. dollar held steady on Thursday as investors were cautious over expectations about a COVID-19 vaccine. Australian dollar was flat versus the greenback at $0.723 and the Japanese yen strengthened 0.02% versus the greenback at 105.11 per dollar.

Oil prices fell on Thursday on virus-linked economic fears and an unexpected rise in U.S. crude stockpiles. U.S. crude CLc1 recently fell 0.71% to $40.83 per barrel and Brent LCOc1 was at $43.27, down 1.21% on the day. gold XAU= was flat at around $1,875 an ounce.

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