Asia-Pacific shares decline on new coronavirus strain in UK

Published On: December 22, 2020Categories: Stocks & Shares1.3 min read

The Nikkei 225 dropped 0.64%, Kospi fell 0.56%, the Shanghai composite declined 0.2%, the S&P/ASX 200 shed 1.05%, and MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.43%

Shares in Asia-Pacific declined in Tuesday trade following investor jitters overnight on Wall Street over a new coronavirus strain in the UK.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 declined 0.64% while the Topix index fell 1.15%. South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.56%.

Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed by the afternoon. The Shanghai composite shed 0.2% while the Shenzhen component climbed 0.162%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index sat fractionally lower.

Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.05%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.43%.

Australia’s retail sales jumped 7% in November as compared with October on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to preliminary figures released by the country’s Bureau of Statistics.

Following that data release, the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7563, after dropping below $0.75 yesterday.

The Japanese yen traded at 103.41 per dollar, after strengthening from levels above 103.6 against the greenback yesterday.

Developments surrounding the coronavirus pandemic likely continued to weigh on investor sentiment, following the discovery of a new Covid strain in the UK that has prompted tighter lockdowns and travel restrictions across Europe.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 declined 0.4% to close at 3,694.92 while the Nasdaq Composite finished its trading day 0.1% lower at 12,742.52. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, on the other hand, gained 37.40 points to close at 30,216.45.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.249 after a jump to levels above 90.8 earlier.

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures shedding 0.47% to $50.67 per barrel. U.S. crude futures declined 0.58% to $47.69 per barrel.

About the Author: Jonathan Adams

Latest articles

Go to Top