TOKYO / NEW YORK (Reuters) – Asian stocks rose on Friday, boosted by gains in China, but sentiment was cautious due to the resurgence of coronavirus infections in Europe and the United States.
Stocks in China .CSI300 rose 0.39% as investors looted bank stocks due to improved earnings prospects.
Australian stocks .AXJO deleted early losses to trade flat. Japanese stocks .N225 with an increase of 0.05%, but the shares of South Korea .KS11 lost 0.32%.
Oil futures have prolonged the decline in Asian trade, as another round of blockades to curb the spread of the coronavirus threatens to further weaken global energy demand.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposal Thursday to increase the size of a fiscal stimulus package to win the support of Republicans and Democrats helped reduce Wall Street losses, although many investors still believe a deal is unlikely before the election on November 3.
“There’s a little bit of concern there, as well as what we see in America and Europe about the virus and how it seems to be lingering again,” said Grant Williamson, an investment adviser at Hamilton Hindin Greene in Christchurch, New Zealand.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 0.07%, S&P 500 .SPX 0.15% and Nasdaq Composite .IXIC decreased by 0.47%.
Unexpected growth in US weekly unemployment figures has added to concerns about the global economy, especially in the face of a jump in COVID-19 in Europe.
The dollar index stood at 93.78, near a two-week high as signs of a stagnant US economy shifted flows from a safe harbor to greenbacks.
The only currency against which the dollar fell was the yen, which strengthened by 0.15% to 105.31 per dollar, given that the Japanese currency is also a refuge.
The euro fell 0.01% to $ 1.1709, while a stronger US dollar pulled the sterling, which was last trading at $ 1.2900, down 0.12% during the day.
Point gold was slightly changed at $ 1,908.40 an ounce.
The coronavirus outbreak occurred in China last year, but Beijing’s aggressive efforts to control the virus mean that its economy is recovering faster than other major countries, suggesting an improvement in corporate profits.
Hong Kong shares in Semiconductor International Manufacturing Corp. 0981. HK (SMIC) rose 2.53% on Friday after China’s leading chipmaker raised its revenue forecasts and gross margin for the third quarter.
In contrast, many European countries have resumed blockades and London will enter a stricter blockade of COVID-19 from midnight on Friday as Prime Minister Boris Johnson tries to deal with the rapidly accelerating second coronavirus wave.
The European Union has instructed Britain to compromise with its new economic partnership or to be ready to suspend trade in less than 80 days, which is another negative effect for sterling.
The Australian dollar fell 0.2% against the greenback to $ 0.7094, hit by a drop in commodities.
Oil prices have been weighed by concerns about the coronavirus and its impact on the global economy. Brent crude futures fell 0.6% to $ 42.90 a barrel, while US crude futures fell 0.44% to $ 40.77 a barrel.
Traders’ preferences for safety have helped government bonds. Yields on 10-year US Benchmark banknotes remained stable at 0.7339%, while the two-year yield fell to 0.1390%.
Report by Susan Barlin; Edited by Sam Holmes