The major Asia Pacific stock indexes were broadly weaker Tuesday as possible delays in expanded U.S. stimulus and concerns about fresh pandemic lockdowns in Europe dented the recent positive sentiment towards global equity markets. South Korea’s KOSPI led losses among the region’s major markets.
In the cash market, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index settled at 23716.85, down 233.84 or -0.98% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index finished at 2332.59, down 56.80 or -2.38%.
China’s Shanghai Index settled at 3274.30, down 42.63 or -1.29% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 closed at 5784.10, down 38.50 or -0.66%.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index remained closed for a bank holiday for a second session.
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China Stocks End Lower as Surge in Global Virus Cases Weigh
China stocks closed lower on Tuesday as material and transport firms dropped following worries about a surge in global cases of the novel coronavirus.
Beijing is unlikely to approve an “unfair” deal Oracle Corp and Walmart Inc said they have struck with ByteDance over the future of video-streaming app TikTok, state-backed newspaper Global Times said in an editorial.
Among sectors, only securities firms gained as investors cheered latest consolidation in the industry. The Guolian-Sinolink merger could help consolidate financial resources and promote healthy development of the securities industry, analysts at Guosen Securities said in a report.
Consumer shares erased earlier gains through losses were narrower than other sectors.
China’s cabinet on Monday issued guidelines to boost new types of consumption, including online shopping and payments, in a bid to support the recovery of the economy.
South Korean Stocks Post Worst Fall in a Month on Europe Lockdown Concerns
South Korean shares dropped nearly 2.4% on Tuesday, logging the sharpest decline in a month, as investors shunned riskier assets on concerns about new coronavirus restrictions in Europe. Both the won and the benchmark bond yield weakened.
With COVID-19 infections on the rise in Europe, countries including Denmark, Greece and England have tightened restrictions, spurring fears about fresh lockdowns that could further pressure the economy.
Most of South Korea’s market heavyweights slumped, with the two largest – Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix – falling 1.7% and 3.8%, respectively.
LG Chem, a Tesla supplier, soared as much as 5.1% ahead of the electric-car maker’s “Battery Day” event on hopes for increased battery cell purchases from Tesla.
Finally, the Bank of Korea said it sees no need to downgrade its current economic growth projections, even after the government imposed tougher social distancing measures to curb a spike in coronavirus cases in late August.