Asian shares mixed as stimulus hopes dwindle, virus concerns press
Asian share markets recorded a mixed performance on Thursday. This followed after optimism over U.S. stimulus talks had weakened and as new coronavirus infections in some parts of Europe reached record highs, prompting investors to resort to safe-haven assets.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan recorded a 0.1% decline. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.6%, while Japan’s benchmark index Nikkei dropped 0.13%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index futures were 0.49% lower.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 0.58%, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.66%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq recorded a 0.8% loss.
As Wall Street’s decline spilled across Asia, Australian equities managed to resist the drag. Equities down under had opened slightly higher backed by material and mining stocks, said Michael McCarthy, CMC Markets chief market strategist.