The threat of the Covid-19 Delta variant hit Asian markets on Tuesday, after US and European stocks fell sharply due to concerns that new outbreaks are hitting global growth.
The sale of the securities sparked a streak of months of gains for international markets as the rapid spread of the Delta strain, a highly infectious mutation of the virus that has swept the world in recent weeks, has put the economy under pressure. if they have been constantly restoring their back foot.
Topix, Japan’s benchmark, fell 1 percent while Australia’s S & P / ASX 200 and South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.6 and 0.7 percent, respectively. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shifted first-quarter gains to drop 1.2 percent, while China’s CSI 300 index of Shanghai and Shenzhen stocks fell 0.5 percent.
Overnight, the Wall Street S&P 500 index closed 1.6 percent lower and the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite fell 1.1 percent. London’s FTSE 100 fell 2.3 per cent, as did Stoxx Europe 600.
Events for the S&P 500 were up 0.2 per cent while those for the FTSE 100 were flat ahead of London markets opening Tuesday.
“Investors are worried that a new focus could slow the pace of economic reopening,” said Tai Hui, Asia market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management. “The next two months will be an important turnaround of governments’ strategy in normalizing lives and economic activity amid the threat of a pandemic.”
In the currency markets, the pound fell 0.1 percent to $ 1.3667 after falling 0.7 percent during the previous session, marking its lowest level since early February.
The UK currency has been hit by a sudden resurgence of Covid-19 outbreaks as the government has removed the last of its restrictions to contain the virus. On Monday, the American Centers for Disease Control placed the UK on its highest level of Covid travel warnings, urging Americans not to visit while England was celebrating “Freedom Day”. “.
In bond markets, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield stood at about 1.2 percent, a hair above its lowest level in six months as investors continued to seek debt security. of the government. Yields fall as bond prices rise.
Oil prices remained steady after the first decline on Monday following the decision by Opec + countries to increase production by 400,000 barrels per day each month next year.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose 0.2 percent to $ 68.78 a barrel Tuesday, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate fell 0.1 percent to $ 66.52.
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