Asian shares slide amid pandemic, Afghanistan worries | Nationwide information

TOKYO (AP) – Asian stocks fell on Monday on worries over rising coronavirus infections in the region and concerns about the long-term effects of the Afghan government’s collapse.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 1.9% in morning trade to 27,441.12, while the Australian S & P / ASX 200 lost 0.4% to 7,594.90. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.6% to 26,237.92, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.4% to 3,530.45. South Korean markets were closed on Liberation Day, a national holiday.

Analysts said the relatively slow adoption of vaccinations in Asia is depressing investor sentiment. Japan, Thailand, and Malaysia are among the nations to report multiple record new cases on a daily basis recently, and several nations have seen a surge that has overtaken or otherwise hampered the adoption of vaccinations.

“This extends the already extended herd immunity deadlines and requires regular bans to prevent rising infection rates,” said Venkateswara Lavanya of Mizuho Bank in Singapore.

“Asia remains the epicenter of the spread, with the number of COVID cases in Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand rising over the weekend.”

Analysts said the Taliban’s entry into the Afghan capital may feel like a distant event, but will undoubtedly affect markets elsewhere, including Asia.

“Yes, the markets will try to fend off this geopolitical earthquake: it’s just Afghanistan; It’s far away, ”said Rabobank in their daily market commentary. “This geopolitical nightmare is almost certainly just beginning.”

In Japan, the government reported that the economy grew at an annual rate of 1.3% from April to June, raising hopes of a gradual recovery from the damage caused by the pandemic. Some analysts had expected a decline. The growth was underlined by improved private consumption and residential construction investments as well as rising exports and imports.

Wall Street closed last week with small gains and new highs for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The S&P 500 benchmark rose 0.2%, posting its second consecutive weekly increase. The Dow and Nasdaq gained less than 0.1%. The S&P 500 rose 7.17 points to 4,468. The Dow gained 15.53 points to 35,515.38 points and the Nasdaq rose 6.64 points to 14,822.90.

The stocks of the S&P 500 were almost evenly split between winners and losers. Profits in technology, healthcare, and housewares companies outweighed losses in banks, energy stocks, and other sectors. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index fell 20.96 points, or 0.9%, to 2,223.11, another sign that traders were concerned about future economic growth.

Investor optimism was also dampened by the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index, which fell to 70.2 from its previous level of 81.2 in July. That was the biggest dip in sentiment since April 2020, when the pandemic first took hold of the country.

The unexpectedly sharp drop in poll numbers was almost entirely due to the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus, which has caused hospitals in the United States to fill up with unvaccinated patients

In energy trading, benchmark US crude fell 80 cents to $ 67.64 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 80 cents to $ 69.79 a barrel.

In forex trading, the US dollar fell from 109.56 yen to 109.36 Japanese yen. The euro was priced at $ 1.1798, down from $ 1.1791.

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