Asia shares mostly lower amid rising coronavirus cases, Washington turmoil
By Chibuike Oguh NEW YORK (Reuters) - Asian stocks were mostly lower on Tuesday, tracking Wall Street declines as political turmoil in Washington and rising coronavirus cases worldwide weighed on sentiment ahead of the start of the quarterly earnings season. Political uncertainty dominated trading as House Democrats introduced a resolution to impeach U.S.
coronavirus cases, Washington turmoil" src="https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/uploads/reuters/01-2021/12/2021-01-12T004436Z_2_LYNXMPEH0B014_RTROPTP_2_GLOBAL-MARKET.jpg" alt="Asia shares mostly lower amid rising coronavirus cases Washington turmoil" width="300" height="225" />
By Chibuike Oguh
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Asian stocks were mostly lower on Tuesday, tracking Wall Street declines as political turmoil in Washington and rising coronavirus cases worldwide weighed on sentiment ahead of the start of the quarterly earnings season.
Political uncertainty dominated trading as House Democrats introduced a resolution to impeach U.S. President Donald Trump, accusing him of inciting insurrection following a violent attack on the Capitol last week.
Several big tech giants, including Twitter Inc, Amazon.com Inc , Alphabet Inc, Facebook Inc and Apple Inc, have taken actions against Trump and his network of supporters, as concerns mounted over the risk of continued violence.
Twitter's stock tumbled 6.4% on Monday after the micro-blogging site permanently suspended Trump's account last Friday.
Investors also kept an eye on the continued spread of the coronavirus globally as cases surpassed 90 million on Monday, according to a Reuters tally.
"The weakness was led by tech and I think the banning of Trump's account by Twitter and Amazon stepping up against Parler all brought a renewed focus on increased regulation and reining in on tech," said Thomas Hayes, chairman of Great Hill Capital in New York.
Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.48%, South Korea's KOSPI fell 0.91% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index futures lost 0.54%.
Defying the broader selloff, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.24%.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.29%, the S&P 500 lost 0.66% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.25%.
Investors are expecting guidance on the extent to which executives see a rebound in 2021 earnings and the economy from results and conference calls from JP Morgan, Citi and Wells Fargo Friday.
Meanwhile, longer-term Treasury yields were at their highest since March before new long-dated supply coming this week and on speculation of more U.S. fiscal stimulus as Democrats will have control of Congress and the White House.
"People are optimistic to see the yield curve steepening and it could help spreads and net interest margins for banks," Hayes said.
Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 11/32 in price to yield 1.1443%, from 1.107% late on Friday.
The spread between the two-year and 10-year Treasury yields brushed against 100 basis points to hit its steepest since July 2017.
The climb in yields in turn offered some support to the dollar, which rose to its highest in over two weeks against a basket of currencies.
The U.S. dollar index rose 0.256%, with the euro down 0.54% to $1.2152. The Japanese yen weakened 0.24% versus the greenback at 104.20 per dollar, while Sterling was last trading at $1.3516, down 0.35% on the day.
Crude oil prices fell, hit by renewed concerns about global fuel demand amid tough coronavirus lockdowns across the globe, as well as the stronger dollar.
U.S. crude recently fell 0.1% to $52.19 per barrel and Brent was at $55.61, down 0.68% on the day.
Safe-have spot gold dropped 0.2% to $1,844.27 an ounce. Silver fell 1.70% to $24.94.
(Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York; Editing by Sam Holmes)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
By Aditya Kalra NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's tobacco industry will object to a proposal to ban smoking zones in hotels and prohibit advertising at cigarette kiosks as the government steps up anti-smoking efforts, two executives said on Wednesday. India has over the years introduced tobacco controls and launched campaigns to deter its use, but enforcement of the law has been a challenge.
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Over 50 pro-democratic activists in Hong Kong were arrested on Wednesday for breaking the city's contentious national security law, local media reported, in the biggest crackdown yet against the democratic opposition under the new law. The arrests in the Asian financial hub included well known democratic figures and former lawmakers James To, Lam Cheuk Ting and Lester Shum, according to the Democratic Party's Facebook page and public broadcaster RTHK. Police did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's syringe manufacturers said on Tuesday they will supply 30 million syringes and needles for the country's COVID-19 vaccination program after the government said it would requisition surplus supplies. Executives of the three main manufacturers met with President Jair Bolsonaro at the Health Ministry and it was agreed that each would supply 10 million syringes to cover the initial stages of the vaccination plan.