Asian stocks kicked off 2021 with a gloomy color tone

Two major indices of Japanese stocks started in 2021 with the red color in the morning session of January 4, while Chinese stocks were mixed.

The Shanghai Composite Index slipped slightly in the morning session of January 4 while the Shenzhen Component Index rose 0.969%. Photo: AFP

Mainland China stocks were mixed after the release of private survey results showing that the growth rate of China’s manufacturing in December 2020 slowed down from the previous month.

The Shanghai Composite Index slipped slightly this morning, while the Shenzhen Component rose 0.969%. On the Hong Kong market, the Hang Seng Index edged up 0.44%.

The results of a private survey released this morning showed that China’s December Caixin / Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reached 53.0 points, lower than the 54.9 in November. Therefore, the PMI index above 50 reflects the industry / sector under review recorded growth during the period under consideration.

South Korean stocks this morning led a rally in the Asia-Pacific region with the Kospi index up 1.22%, although the Korean market today opened 1 hour later than usual. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 decreased by 0.64%, while the Topix lost 0.85%.

Meanwhile, the green ink was still maintained on the Australian stock market with the S&P / ASX 200 up 1.05%. Overall, the MSCI Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) rose 0.54%.

Analysts said that developments related to the global Covid-19 pandemic continued to dominate investor sentiment on the first trading day of the year, although the race to distribute Covid-19-resistant vaccines was triggered at a country number.

In Asia, Japanese officials are looking at the possibility of declaring a state of emergency in the capital Tokyo and surrounding areas due to the recent increase in the number of Covid-19 infections, according to news agency Kyodo News. According to Yonhap news agency, the Korean government over the weekend continued to extend the application of social stretching measures due to the sudden increase in the number of Covid-19 infections in the country of Kim Chi.

On the currency markets, the US dollar index against other major currencies continued to inch up to 89,931 after rising to a recent level of 89.7. Japanese Yen this morning weakened to 103.06 JPY / USD, compared with 103.5 set last week; on the contrary, Australian dollar appreciated and exchanged 1 AUD “eating” 0.7714 USD, from 1 AUD / 0.765 USD set last week.

Oil prices on the Asian market went up, with Brent for futures rising 0.44% to $ 52.03 / barrel while US crude futures edged up 0.39% to $ 48.71 / barrel.

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