ASIAN SHARES FALL AS COVID CASES SURGE IN US, EUROPE
Asian stocks followed Wall Street’s sharp selloff on Thursday as concerns about rising coronavirus infections and new shutdowns in major US cities hosed down earlier investor enthusiasm about COVID-19 vaccine developments, Chibuike Oguh reported for Reuters on November 19, 2020.
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 US, to halt in-person learning starting from Thursday. “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 lost 0.5% in early trading, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index futures lost 0.02%. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.4%. All 11 major sectors in the S&P 500 closed in negative territory, with energy shares suffering the biggest loss. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.16%, the S&P 500 lost 1.16%, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.82%.
The dollar index fell 0.043%, with the euro down 0.05% to $1.1855. US 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 last fell 1/32 in price to yield 0.875%, from 0.872% late on Tuesday. 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. US crude settled up 0.94% at $41.82 per barrel and Brent was at $44.34, up 1.35% on the day.