Covid-19 continued to deal a blow to Asian stocks

The complicated development of Covid-19 continued to push Asian stocks into opposite colors on the second trading day of 2021.

Both Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Topix index declined on January 5 trading day. Photo: AFP

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 decreased by 0.37% and closed at 27,158.63 points, while the Topix index slipped more than 0.19% to 1,791.22 points. In contrast, South Korean stocks were in green with the Kospi index rose 1.57% to 2,990.57 points.

Mainland Chinese stocks continued to flourish today, with the Shanghai Composite edging 0.73% to 3,528.68 points while Shenzhen Component rebounded 2.159% to 15,147.57.

On the Hong Kong market, the Hang Seng index rose 0.64% to 27,649.86 points. Shares of leading Chinese chipmaker SMIC listed in Hong Kong are the focus of attention for investors after the stock was in the list of listed companies removed from the basket of global stock index FTSE Russell. This is a move in the footsteps of FTSE Russell after US President Donald Trump issued an administrative decree prohibiting US investors from being businesses / individuals to invest in some Chinese enterprises.

Shares of SMIC today closed “evaporated” 9.61%, while shares of Foxconn closed soared 4.1% after the electronic components maker reached a production cooperation agreement with Chinese electric vehicle company Byton.

Australian stocks today were less volatile with the S & P / ASX 200 index mainly fluctuating around 6,681.90 points. Overall, the MSCI Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) rose 0.74%.

US stocks last night kicked off 2021 with a gloomy color tone when all three major indexes were “fiery red”. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 382.59 points to 30,223.89, marking the Dow Jones’ negative beginning of the year start to 2016.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 last night lost 1.5% to 3,700.65 points while the Nasdaq Composite lost the same 1.5% to 12,698.45 points.

The developments surrounding the Covid-19 epidemic continued to weigh on investors’ sentiment on January 5 trading day. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced a nationwide blockade in an attempt to find a way to deal with the new Covid strain. In Asia, Japanese media reported that the government was considering declaring an emergency for the capital Tokyo and some neighboring areas on January 7 in an effort to prevent the spread of virus.

On the money market, the US dollar index against other major currencies rose to 89,751, from 89,685. Japanese Yen weakened and converted 102.91 JPY / USD, compared with below 102.8 for 1 USD yesterday. On the contrary, the Australian dollar appreciated and exchanged 1 AUD “eating” 0.7716 USD, from 1 AUD / 0.7659 USD set earlier.

Oil prices on the Asian market went down this afternoon. Brent crude oil futures for delivery slid 0.12% to $ 51.03 / barrel, while the US crude futures price struggled at $ 47.61 / barrel.

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