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Asian Stocks Mixed, Investors Digest Surging COVID-19 Cases Globally

Stock MarketsApr 19, 2021 11:18PM ET
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By Gina Lee – Asia Pacific stocks were mixed Tuesday morning, with resurging numbers of COVID-19 cases globally and some weaker-than-expected corporate earnings weighing on investor sentiment.

China’s Shanghai Composite inched up 0.10% by 11:02 PM ET (3:02 AM GMT) while the Shenzhen Component edged up 0.20%. President Xi Jinping will give a video speech to attendees at the Boao Forum for Asia, or China’s answer to the annual Davos World Economic Forum, later in the day.

Other attendees at the virtual forum include Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Tim Cook and Tesla Inc.'s (NASDAQ:TSLA) Elon Musk.

Elsewhere in China, the People’s Bank of China also kept its loan prime rate steady at 3.85% earlier in the day.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged down 0.14%.

In Australia, the ASX 200 was down 0.34%, after the Reserve Bank of Australia released the minutes from its latest policy meeting earlier in the day.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.90%. Japanese health regulators reportedly requested additional data on the blood clots that have hampered the AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) and the University of Oxford-developed COVID-19 both in the country and elsewhere. The vaccine had been due to get Japanese approval by May, but this deadline could be delayed as the regulators await the data.

South Korea’s KOSPI was up 0.33%.

Elsewhere on the central bank front, the European Central Bank will hand down its policy decision on Thursday.

Tuesday morning was a case of deja-vu for some investors, as “the Asian session looks like a continuation of what we saw overnight, where tech stocks got hit in the U.S.," CMC Markets Chief Markets Strategist Mick McCarthy told Reuters.

Meanwhile, Tesla shares slid 3.4% overnight after one of its vehicles, believed to be driverless, crashed into a tree north of Houston on Saturday, killing two occupants.

Investors will continue to monitor earnings for clues that the private sector’s recovery from COVID-19, following International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) Corp.’s report of its first revenue gain in eleven quarters during its latest earnings.

Even with global stocks currently trading near record highs, other investors were worried about an imminent correction.

“We do think the market is a little overextended here,” Morningstar Investment Services chief U.S. market strategist Dave Sekera told Bloomberg.

Sekera added that although broad U.S. equities look about 5% overvalued, “having said that we do still see value in a couple of areas, the value category being one.”

Investors continue to monitor the corporate earnings as the season gets underway alongside the global COVID-19 situation.

Asian Stocks Mixed, Investors Digest Surging COVID-19 Cases Globally

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Frank Olivarez
Frank Olivarez Apr 19, 2021 11:31PM ET
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Covid cases lmao ..
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