Asian shares fall as fresh outbreaks overshadow vaccine progress
By Chibuike Oguh NEW YORK (Reuters) - Asian stocks followed Wall Street's sharp selloff on Thursday as concerns about rising coronavirus infections and new shutdowns in major U.S. cities hosed down earlier investor enthusiasm about COVID-19 vaccine developments
By Chibuike Oguh
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Asian stocks followed Wall Street's sharp selloff on Thursday as concerns about rising coronavirus infections and new shutdowns in major U.S. cities hosed down earlier investor enthusiasm about COVID-19 vaccine developments.
Bearish sentiment triggered a late-session retreat in stock markets on Wednesday after a surge in new COVID-19 infections prompted New York City, which has the largest school district in the United States, to halt in-person learning starting from Thursday.
The news of the shutdowns overshadowed Pfizer Inc's
"It's like a seesaw, the fight between the growth of COVID and the excitement about the vaccine is really weighing on the market," said Hilary Kramer, chief investment officer for Kramer Capital Research in New York.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 <.AXJO> lost 0.5% in early trading, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index futures <.HSI>
New York City joined other large school districts in cities like Boston, Detroit, Las Vegas, Philadelphia that have recently canceled in-person learning due to rising coronavirus cases.
Forty-one U.S. states have reported record daily increases in COVID-19 cases in November, 20 have registered record daily deaths and 26 have reported new peaks in hospitalizations, according to a Reuters tally of public health data.
Despite upbeat vaccine developments, the prospect of roll-backs of reopenings and new lockdowns weighed on market participants. All 11 major sectors in the S&P 500 closed in negative territory, with energy shares <.SPNY> suffering the biggest loss.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 1.16%, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 1.16%, and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 0.82%.
Richmond Federal Reserve President Thomas Barkin said allowing the Fed's emergency lending programs to sunset on Dec. 31 could pose risks to financial markets, especially as the pandemic is escalating.
The dollar moved off earlier lows following better-than-expected U.S. housing data, with the greenback still on pace for its fifth straight decline as the Pfizer news gave investors an appetite for some risk taking.
The dollar index <=USD> fell 0.043%, with the euro
U.S. Treasury yields reversed early declines on optimism about a potential vaccine and after a weak 20-year bond auction diminished the appeal of the safe-haven debt. Benchmark 10-year notes
Oil prices advanced as the vaccine news buoyed investor appetite, along with hopes OPEC and its allies will delay a planned increase in oil output.
(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.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
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