Asian shares fall by way of UK lockdowns triggered by’s new COVID-19 pressure


© Reuters.

From Gina Lee – Asia Pacific stocks were largely down Monday morning, with risk appetite hurt by a rapidly spreading new COVID-19 strain in the UK despite advances in recent US stimulus measures.

The discovery of the new strain, described as “out of control” by UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock, resulted in London entering a level 4 emergency lockdown. After the lockdown, 16 million Britons will stay at home in London and the south-east of England a few days before the Christmas holidays.

European neighbors including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland and Belgium have closed their borders to travelers, and in some cases have cargo from the UK.Other countries like Canada, Argentina and Chile also have flights from the UK with them banned other countries are considering similar bans.

Japan fell 0.56% at 10:12 p.m. ET (3:12 p.m. GMT). South Korea was down 0.39%. The country reported 926 daily cases on Monday after cases topped 1,000 over the weekend.

In Australia the decrease was 0.21%. Sydney’s 5 million residents are also battling a COVID-19 outbreak in the city, which originated in the northern beaches. The lockdowns currently in place in the region are due to be reviewed on Wednesday, but other states and areas have been closing their borders quickly, causing flight cancellations and disruptions to Christmas schedules.

Hong Kong was down 0.08%.

China’s rose 0.56% and rose 1.19%. The People’s Bank of China kept its key interest rate for corporate and household loans constant for the eighth time in a row when it was set in December on Monday, in line with market expectations. The unchanged value was 3.85%, while the key interest rate for five-year loans remained at 4.65%.

Tensions between the US and China also increased as Beijing threatened countermeasures after the US Department of Commerce blacklisted more than 60 Chinese companies, including Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., on Friday to “protect the national security of the Protect USA “.

Meanwhile, news of the UK lockdown overshadowed progress in adopting recent US stimulus measures. Although the text of the $ 900 billion bill is still being written, the House of Representatives will vote on it later that day, followed by the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said “we finally have a bipartisan breakthrough” that was necessary to get the bill passed in the House and Senate.

In the area of ​​vaccines, the Food and Drug Administration also granted emergency approval Modern Inc’s (NASDAQ 🙂 vaccine mRNA-1273 over the weekend. The vaccinations should start on Monday.

Despite warnings not to view vaccines as a panacea for COVID-19, some investors have been encouraged by the post-approval approval of mRNA-1273 Pfizer Inc (NYSE 🙂 and BioNTech SE (F 🙂 vaccine BNT162b2.

“For many, the end of 2020 cannot come soon enough … the pathogen has wreaked havoc in the financial markets, and so we expect many market participants in the New Year to want the arrival and first distribution of coronavirus vaccines at the end Light signals a very tiring and debilitating tunnel, ”Simon Ballard, chief economist at Abu Dhabi Bank Pjsc, told Bloomberg.

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