Asian equities plunge on vaccine, stimulus concerns
Asian shares had eased from a 2-1/2-year high on Wednesday. This followed after coronavirus vaccine trials were halted and as U.S. stimulus talks reached a deadlock, completely dragging investors’ sentiment. Meanwhile, oil declined on virus-beaten demand.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan ended its seven-day rally, tracking Wall Street’s subdued performance. The index recorded a 0.25% decline as it reversed from a 2-1/2-year peak seen on Tuesday.
Japan’s Nikkei advanced as Australia’s benchmark index touched low grounds. South Korean shares tallied a 0.9% loss, while Chinese shares started turbulently and had grown weaker in the afternoon session, with Chinese blue chips declining 0.7%.
The series of declines started on Wall Street after Johnson & Johnson announced that it halted its coronavirus vaccine trials due to a study participant’s unexplained illness. Meanwhile, Eli Lilly and Co had also temporarily opted out from continuing its antibody treatment, sending the U.S. equity market at low levels.