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Stock market: Asian shares mostly fall after US stocks fall again

TOKYO –

Asian shares mostly fell on Thursday after stock indexes fell on Wall Street.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.3 percent to 29,598.66, although it rose briefly after major business daily Nikkei reported Prime Minister Fumio Kishida would propose a stimulus package on Friday. government for a record total of 55.7 trillion yen ($488 billion). The rally quickly dried up as more serious concerns, such as the coronavirus pandemic, increased.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.1% to 7,379.20, while South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.4% to 2,952.19. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.3% to 25,312.09. The Shanghai Composite fell 0.4% to 3,525.09.

“Without a positive lead from Wall Street overnight and a relatively quiet day in terms of economic data, sentiment in the region could be,” said Yeap Jun Rong, market strategist at IG in Singapore. could stagnate, potentially leading to some sideways movements.”

Recent government data shows that the coronavirus pandemic continues to take a toll on the Japanese economy. The supply of chips and other parts needed to make cars, a mainstay of the world’s third-largest economy, is one reason.

The damage to consumer spending from recent government measures to close restaurants early and open cinemas to limited crowds is another factor. Japan has never closed down but has periodically called for a “state of emergency” to curb the spread of infections.

Junichi Makino, chief economist at SMBC Nikko Securities, said the Japanese recovery many initially expected to kick off this year could be until fiscal 2022, which begins in April.

“But extreme pessimism is discouraged. Auto production is likely to return to normal in the 10-12 quarter,” he said.

Investors are also keeping an eye on the Bank of Korea’s policy-setting meeting scheduled for next week to see if the central bank will raise its key interest rate. Policymakers have hinted at such a move.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 index fell 0.3 percent to 4,688.67 and was just 13.03 points below its all-time high set a week and a half ago.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6% to 35,931.05 and the Nasdaq composite lost 0.3% to 15,921.57.

Stocks have mostly edged higher from last month as companies widely reported summer profits that were much stronger than analysts expected.

Inflationary pressures – and the extent to which companies’ profits are affected – are under a microscope, with many companies warning their margins could suffer due to supply chain issues and higher costs for everything from worker wages to raw materials.

A report on the housing market showed some of that pressure. Last month, builders broke ground to build fewer homes than in September, contrary to economists’ growth expectations. But the number of building permits increased more than expected, perhaps suggesting that homebuilders see those pressures finally easing.

In energy trading, the price of U.S. benchmark crude fell 72 cents to $77.64 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell $2.40 to $78.36 per barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 45 cents to $79.83 a barrel.

In currency trading, the recent stagnation in the dollar’s rally has sent some Asian markets into a waiting mood. The US dollar rose to 114.22 Japanese yen from 114.14 yen. The euro fell to $1.1319 from $1.1322.

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