By Stanley White and Susanie Barlin
TOKYO / NEW YORK (Reuters) – Asian stocks gave up early gains and fell on Friday as the resurgence of coronavirus infections in Europe and the United States hurt appetite for risk.
Shares in China () initially rose as investors looted bank stocks to improve earnings prospects, but the broader market gave way to gains and fell 0.55%.
Australian shares () fell 0.72%. Japanese shares () fell 0.49% and South Korean shares () lost 0.98%.
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.
Euro Stoxx 50 () futures rose 0.5%, German DAX () futures rose 0.47% and futures () rose 0.6%.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposal Thursday to increase the size of the 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. November 3.
“There’s a little bit of concern there, as well as what we’re seeing 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 the Wall Street Dow Jones Industrial Average () fell 0.07%, the S&P 500 () by 0.15% and the Nasdaq Composite () by 0.47%.
An unexpected rise in US weekly unemployment figures has added to concerns about the global economy, especially in the wake of COVID-19 in Europe.
() It was at 93,819, close to a two-week high as signs of a stagnant US economy spurred flows from the safe harbor to greenbacks.
The only currency against which the dollar fell was the yen, which strengthened 0.22% to 105.24 per dollar, given that the Japanese currency is also considered a refuge.
The euro () remained unchanged at $ 1.1704 as a stronger US dollar dragged on
The coronavirus epidemic broke out in China last year, but Beijing’s aggressive efforts to control the virus mean its economy is recovering faster than other major countries, suggesting an improvement in corporate profits.
Hong Kong shares in Semiconductor International Manufacturing Corp. (HK 🙂 (SMIC) rose 0.81% on Friday after China’s best chipmaker raised its revenue and gross margin forecasts 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 on its new economic partnership or be ready to suspend trade in less than 80 days, which is another negative effect for sterling.
The Australian dollar fell 0.3% against the greenback to $ 0.7075, hit by a drop in commodities.
Oil prices have been weighed by concerns about the coronavirus and its impact on the global economy. Crude Brent () futures fell 1.11% to $ 42.68 a barrel, while US crude futures () fell 1.1% to $ 40.51 a barrel.
Traders’ preferences for safety have helped government bonds. The yield on 10-year US government securities banknotes () fell to 0.7289%, while the two-year yield () remained at 0.1390%.