Hong Kong: Asian markets fell sharply on Wednesday, and market concerns about the re-emergence of the coronavirus weighed on the confidence of global investors. The US stock market also fell from a record high last week.
Countries around the world are urgently working to accelerate vaccination campaigns and restore pandemic economies. In some of the worst-hit countries, new variants of pathogens are driving unprecedented numbers of infections.
The Dow Jones and S&P 500 both closed at new highs last week and recorded gains for the fourth consecutive week. However, as the earnings season enters the second week, stock prices have fallen in the past two days.
The losses in Europe are also severe, with closing prices in London and Paris both falling by about 2%.
Axi’s Stephen Innes said: “After the fear of the virus reappeared in the markets overnight, global stock markets are still falling.
He added: “The surge has led to an increase in travel restrictions and the reopening of partially priced-to-perfect trade, which has renewed concerns about the continued economic impact and has enveloped a series of solid corporate performance.”
After the port city of Osaka, where hospital beds for severely ill coronavirus patients have run out, asked the central government to impose a state of emergency, the Tokyo stock market fell and the Nikkei index fell by more than 2%.
Three months before the country’s hosting of the Olympic Games postponed by the virus, the infection rate there is rising, and it is expected that Tokyo and several other regions will follow in Osaka’s footsteps.
Mumbai was bracing for a third day of falls after finishing 0.5 percent down on Tuesday, with India’s 1.3 billion people battling a worrying virus surge and record daily case numbers overwhelming already stretched hospitals.
The capital New Delhi was locked down Monday for a week, and the government said all adults would be eligible for a vaccine from May as it tries to get a grip on the crisis.
Hong Kong was down 1.8 percent with Chinese entertainment giant and index heavyweight Tencent tracking the market fall.
Sydney was down 1.6 percent despite stronger than expected retail sales data while Seoul, Wellington and Singapore all fell more than one percent.