Asia-Pacific markets mixed on virus cases, U.S. stimulus

Published On: December 8, 2020Categories: Stocks & Shares1.7 min read

Nikkei 225 dropped 0.34%, the Kospi shed 1.1%, ASX 200 was up 0.2%, the Hang Seng index declined 0.53%, and the Shenzhen composite rose 0.32%

Asia-Pacific markets traded mixed on Tuesday as investors remained cautious over rising coronavirus cases, U.S. stimulus negotiations as well as Brexit talks between the U.K. and the European Union.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.34% while the Topix index was down 0.16%. In South Korea’s the Kospi declined 1.1%.

Australia’s benchmark ASX 200 reversed earlier losses to trade up 0.2%. The energy subindex erased some of its loses but was still down 0.65%. It happened after oil prices slipped in the overnight session on Monday.

Oil stocks in Australia mostly declined: Shares of Santos fell 1.6%, Oil Search was down by 2.23% and Woodside Petroleum traded 0.22% lower.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index fell 0.53% in early trade. The health-care arm of Chinese e-commerce giant made its trading debut in Hong Kong and saw its share price surge compared to the company’s issue price.

Chinese mainland shares also traded up: The Shanghai composite fell fractionally, the Shenzhen composite was up 0.32% and the Shenzhen component added 0.47%.

That follows a mixed overnight session on Wall Street and in Europe. U.S. futures fell on Monday evening after the market close.

Markets had a mixed session overnight, Cherelle Murphy from ANZ Research wrote in a morning note. Negotiations over a new pandemic package continue in the US, while high (Covid-19) numbers and disappointing labour market data cast a shadow. A deal is widely expected by mid-December, Murphy added.

UK-EU trade talks appear to be on the brink of collapse, with news expected this morning, Murphy said.

The U.K. and the European Union are making last efforts to reach a post-Brexit trade deal this week. Both sides remain divided over three issues: fisheries, competition rules and governance of their potential deal. They have been stuck on these three areas since early summer.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to travel to Brussels this week in a final push to clinch a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU. Johnson will meet European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen in person after two phone calls between the leaders failed to bear fruit.

About the Author: Jonathan Adams

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