Global shares mixed amid virus fears temper market optimism

Written by The Frontier Post

Monitoring Desk

TOKYO (AP) — Global shares were mixed Tuesday as optimism about a gradual economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic was tempered by worries over the variants spreading rapidly in some nations.

France’s CAC 40 was little changed in early trading, inching up to 6,813.29, while Germany’s DAX gained nearly 0.1% to 15,758.31. Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.1% to 7,126.62.

U.S. shares were set to drift lower with Dow futures falling less than 0.1% to 34,986.00. S&P 500 futures were also down less than 0.1% at 4,424.50.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.2% to finish at 27,888.15. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.3% to 7,562.60. South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.5% to 3,243.19. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng recouped early losses to jump 1.2% to 26,605.62, while the Shanghai Composite gained 1.0% to 3,529.93.

While investment sentiment was buoyed by recent announcements from companies in Asia that their earnings were holding up relatively well, investors remain concerned about rising infections and possible lockdowns or other measures that will curb economic activity.

“The aggressive spread of the delta variant has authorities struggling to strike a balance between containment measures and some kind of return in economic activities,” said Venkateswaran Lavanya at Mizuho Bank in Singapore.

Parts of Japan, including Tokyo, the capital, remain under a state of emergency as surging numbers of infections put more COVID-19 patients in already overburdened hospitals. The emergency measures set by the government focus on closing eateries at night and not serving alcohol.

There has been volatility on the market amid uncertainty over the impact that COVID-19 variants will have on the economy and over the Federal Reserve’s next monetary policy moves. Analysts expect the U.S. and other economies to continue growing, but have cautioned that the resurgent virus could slow down the pace.

“With no firm direction from New York, Asian markets have gone their own way,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior Asia Pacific market analyst at OANDA. “Regulatory risk and further cases of the delta variant in mainland China continues to unnerve markets there.”

Investors have been taking in a steady stream of encouraging economic reports. The latest from the Labor Department shows that U.S. employers posted a record 10.1 million job openings in June. That follows Friday’s report that the economy generated 943,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 5.4% from 5.9% in June.

Investors will get another piece of data on inflation when the U.S. Labor Department releases its consumer price index for July on Wednesday. Wall Street is still trying to gauge how much inflation might rise as the economy recovers and whether that will push the Federal Reserve to trim back its support for the economy sooner than expected.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude added $1.45 to $67.93 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose $1.18 to $70.22 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar rose to 110.46 yen from 110.28 yen. The euro cost $1.1734, inching down from $1.1737.

Courtesy: AP News

About the author

The Frontier Post

Leave a Reply