Asia-Pacific markets mixed with China’s Covid fears in focus as Beijing expands mass testing


SINGAPORE – Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on Tuesday morning as investors will closely monitor the market response to the Covid fears in China as Beijing expands mass testing.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.17%, while the Topix remained flat. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.55%.

However, Australian shares fell as trading resumed Monday after a holiday. The S&P/ASX 200 plunged 2.34% in early trading.

Major miners collapsed as Rio Tinto fell more than 4%, Fortescue Metals plunged 6.6% and BHP plunged nearly 6%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan fell 0.19%.

Markets reacted negatively to news of Covid spreading faster in China, raising fears of additional lockdowns and reduced production. This had a direct impact on the Asian markets and also rippled through the global financial markets.

ANZ investigation

Brian Martin and Daniel Hynes

In terms of earnings, HSBC will report its first quarter results. Tuesday’s economic data includes South Korea’s gross domestic product for the first quarter.

The Chinese markets will be top-of-mind for investors in the coming days. Mainland and Hong Kong shares plunged Monday as concerns over a Covid wave and possible lockdowns in Beijing emerged.

Markets will look for reactions to Beijing’s announcement on Monday that mass testing will be extended to an additional 10 districts and one economic development area, Reuters said.

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“Markets reacted negatively to news that COVID is spreading faster in China, raising fears of additional lockdowns and reduced production. This had a direct impact on Asian markets and also rippled through global financial markets,” wrote Brian Martin and Daniel Hynes, analysts at ANZ Research in a Tuesday. Note.

US stocks were negative earlier in the day but recovered towards the end. The Dow Jones Industrial Average narrowed an intraday loss of nearly 500 points on Monday and rose 238.06 points, or 0.7%, to 34,049.46. The S&P 500 rose 0.6% to 4,296.12 points. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 1.3% at 13,004.85.

Currencies and Oil

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its counterparts, stood at 101,670, extending its rise from just above 101.

The Japanese yen was trading at 127.60 per dollar, slightly firmer than levels above 128.1 previously. The Australian dollar stood at $0.7176, slightly lower than around $0.718 previously.

Oil prices had changed little in trading in Asia on Tuesday morning after a tumble on Monday as Covid fears in China boosted demand.

US crude oil futures traded just above the flatline to $98.58 a barrel. The international benchmark Brent oil futures rose 0.12% to $102.44 a barrel.

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