Asian shares set to slip as coronavirus concerns weigh

By John McCrank NEW YORK (Reuters) - Asian shares were set to open mostly lower on Friday as record-breaking new coronavirus cases and deaths in several U.S. states stoked concerns that new lockdowns could derail the economic recovery, and investors looked forward to earnings season

Reuters July 10, 2020 06:05:17 IST
Asian shares set to slip as coronavirus concerns weigh

Asian shares set to slip as coronavirus concerns weigh

By John McCrank

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Asian shares were set to open mostly lower on Friday as record-breaking new coronavirus cases and deaths in several U.S. states stoked concerns that new lockdowns could derail the economic recovery, and investors looked forward to earnings season.

Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures were down 0.41%, Japan's Nikkei 225 futures edged up 0.02%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index futures <.HSI> lost 0.87%.

E-mini futures for the S&P 500 added 0.12%.

More than 60,000 new COVID-19 infections were reported across the United States on Wednesday, the greatest single-day tally of cases by any country since the virus emerged late last year in China. U.S. deaths rose by more than 900 for the second straight day.

That heightened concerns that renewed lockdowns could hurt the economic recovery.

The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits dropped to a near four-month low last week, data showed.

But investors remained cautious as the report also said a record 32.9 million people were collecting unemployment checks in the third week of June, supporting expectations the labor market would take years to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. dollar <=USD> attracted safehaven inflows, rising 0.34% against a basket of currencies.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 1.39%, to 25,706.09 and the S&P 500 <.SPX> dropped 0.56%, to 3,152.05.

"Weakness in financial stocks, with the bank sub-index down 2.5%, comes ahead of next week's Q2 reporting season that sees JP Morgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo all report next Tuesday and following news that Wells Fargo is planning to cut 'thousands' of jobs starting later this year," said Ray Attrill, head of FX strategy at National Australia Bank.

Technology stocks rose, lifting the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> up 0.53%, to 10,547.75, for its fifth record closing high in six days.

Mainland China shares rallied for an eighth day on Thursday, fueled by retail investor enthusiasm and policy support, even as regulators cracked down on margin financing and as state media warned of market risks.

The rise in China's mainland equities has some similarities to the bubble there five years ago, but it is not yet close in scale, and prices could continue to inflate for some time, said Capital Economics economist Oliver Jones.

"That said, another boom-bust cycle in China's equities could have even greater knock-on effects for markets elsewhere than before, with foreign holdings far higher now than five years ago," he said.

Fueled by illegal margin lending, the 2015-16 market bubble saw the benchmark Shanghai index <.SSEC> fall more than 40% from its peak in just a few weeks.

(Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

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

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.