Breaking News
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Asian Stocks Down, Regional COVID-19 Outbreaks Unnerve Investors

Stock MarketsAug 02, 2021 10:55PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters.

By Gina Lee – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly down on Tuesday morning, as the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in the region’s key markets soured risk sentiment.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.91% by 10:47 PM ET (2:47 AM GMT). Data released earlier in the day said the Tokyo core consumer price index (CPI) grew 0.1% year-on-year in July, while the Tokyo CPI contracted 0.1% year-on-year. Tokyo's CPI excluding food and energy grew 0.2% month-on-month in July.

South Korea’s KOSPI edged down 0.14%. with the country’s CPI growing a better-than-expected 2.6% year-on-year in July. The Bank of Korea also released the minutes from its latest Financial Stability Board meeting.

In Australia, the ASX 200 was down 0.26%. Australian building approvals contracted 6.7% month-on-month in June, while private house approvals fell 11.8% in the same month.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.88%. China’s Shanghai Composite was down 0.30% while the Shenzhen Component jumped 2.25%.

The Reserve Bank of Australia will hand down its policy decision for August later in the day, with the Bank of England following on Thursday and the Reserve Bank of India on the following day.

The global spread of COVID-19, and its Delta variant, continues to be of concern to investors. China has seen cases spread to inland cities from the coast, with restrictive measures re-implemented to curb the latest outbreak. Investors also continue to monitor shares in China and Hong Kong, as China continues to tighten regulation in sectors including technology and private education.

"It's a challenging time for Asian equities with the uncertainty that has been created by the regulatory measures... there was some handholding from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) last week to limit the spread of the contagion and counter the popular thinking of which sector is next. That worked for a few days but then we saw the flows start to reverse again,” BNP Paribas (OTC:BNPQY) Asset Management head of Asian equities Zhikai Chen told Reuters.

Meanwhile, U.S. data released on Monday that was robust but softer also soured investor sentiment. The manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) was a better-than-expected 63.4 in July, while the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing PMI was a lower-than-expected 59.5. The ISM manufacturing employment index was a better-than-expected 52.9 in July.

Meanwhile, the debate on when the U.S. Federal Reserve will begin asset tapering and hike interest rates continues. Fed Governor Christopher Waller said he could back an asset tapering announcement by September 2021 should the next two monthly U.S. employment data show continued gains.

Investors now look to the latest U.S. jobs report, including non-farm payrolls, due on Friday, to gauge the labor market’s recovery. But for some, it was a matter of priorities.

“I don’t think the market is concerned about the Delta variant as much as it’s concerned about how it impacts inflation... the longer we have Delta spread globally, the longer the supply chain disruptions will continue,” Spotlight Asset Group chief investment officer Shana Sissel told Bloomberg.

Asian Stocks Down, Regional COVID-19 Outbreaks Unnerve Investors

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email