CityAM – Stocks in Asia had a rocky start to trading today, as concerns about rising coronavirus cases in the US prompted
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Stocks in Asia had a rocky start to trading today, as concerns about rising coronavirus cases in the US prompted fears of a second economic lockdown on the horizon.
Japan’s Nikkei index recovered from early losses to trade either side of flat, while US S&P 500 futures were at a gain of 0.3 per cent after opening at losses of 1.05 per cent.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was trading almost flat, while mainland Chinese stocks rose 0.42 per cent to their highest in three and a half months.
European markets, however, are poised to open lower. Futures for the Eurostoxx 50 were down 0.89 per cent this morning, and FTSE 100 futures were down 0.69 per cent.
“The market is surprisingly resilient. Perhaps many investors think the uptrend is in place. But we need to keep an eye on rising coronavirus infections in some countries,” said Hirokazu Kabeya, chief global strategist at Daiwa Securities.
Investors’ concerns were highlighted after Apple said last Friday it would temporarily shutter some of its US stores, as coronavirus cases spike in those states.
Over the weekend, fresh data from Johns Hopkins University showed new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the US spiked to its highest since early May.
Separately, belief in a V-shaped recovery is set to be tested this week in Europe as the UK is said to be preparing to reduce social distancing measures to above 1m, while Germany faces a spike in localised coronavirus cases.
“With Germany widely lauded for its swift coronavirus response, both from a fiscal as well as a medical standpoint, countries across Europe will now be nervously glancing in its direction as authorities there grapple with this resurgence, over concerns it could ripple out beyond its borders and threaten the re-opening plans of countries across the rest of Europe,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.
Stocks on the whole have begun to recover in recent weeks, as countries around the world reveal unprecedented stimulus packages to get the economy back on track.