Stock markets across Asia have reacted to what has been described by many as a disappointing U.S. jobs and economic data, following Wall Street lower on Friday, as the benchmark S&P 500 index lost 0.4% for its third straight daily decline.
Stocks reacted to the report of 861,000 people applying for unemployment benefits last week, subsequently retreating based on the figures. The minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting also revealed that officials of central bank believe the Covid-19 pandemic still poses athreat to the economy.
In Washington, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, stated that the economy is in “a deep hole” despite signs of improvement.
“The market is likely still on a reflation path, but the way will get choppier from here,” said Stephen Innes of Axi in a report. He also stated that further improvement requires “continued economic growth recovery” considering that the support from the government and central bank are already reflected in asset prices.
The Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, -0.61% lost 0.3% and the Nikkei 225 NIK, 1.13% in Tokyo sank 1.2%. The Hang Seng HSI, 0.25% in Hong Kong lost 0.8%.
The Kospi 180721, 0.46% in South Korea retreated 0.5% and Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, 0.05% tumbled 1.4%. Markets in Taiwan Y9999, 1.11%, Singapore STI, 0.02% and Indonesia JAKIDX, +0.51% also retreated.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 SPX, -0.19% fell to 3,913.97. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.00% lost 0.4% to 31,493.34. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.07% tumbled 0.7%.
Japan reported encouraging figures on Friday, with the country’s preliminary version of monthly purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing rising to its highest level in two years. This is a suggestion that manufacturers are coping with the country’s latest state of emergency beyond most people’s expectations.
Stock prices rose over the past six months with optimism surrounding the development of Covid-19 vaccines. However, the release of conflicting data after renewed infection spikes in the US and Europe led to governments re-imposing travel and business curbs has dented sentiments.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude CLH21, +0.76% fell $1.49 per barrel to $59.04 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 62 cents on Thursday to close at $60.52. Brent crude BRNJ21, 0.72%, used to price international oils, retreated $1.41 per barrel to $62.52 in London, shedding 41 cents the previous session to $63.93.
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