Most major stock indexes of Asia-Pacific fell at the end of the trading day on August 12 while Wall Street still witnessed more record points.
|Li Auto’s Li One sport utility vehicle is displayed at a showroom in Beijing, China. Photo: Reuters|
Mainland China stocks this afternoon closed in the negative territory. The Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.22% to 3,524.74, while the Shenzhen Component fell 0.79% to 14,901.97.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost nearly 1% today. According to Refinitiv Eikon data, shares of Chinese electric car maker Li Auto today had a “not smooth sailing” pitch in Hong Kong because at one point, they fell as much as 1.8 percent from the IPO price. In the afternoon session, the decrease of Li Auto stock narrowed to 1%.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed 0.2 percent lower at 28,015.02 points, while the Topix index was flat at 1,953.55 points. In the Korean market, the Kospi index fell 0.38% to 3,208.38 points.
Australian stocks rose slightly with Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index ending the afternoon session at 7,588.20 points. In general, the MSCI Asia-Pacific index (excluding Japan) this afternoon fell 0.62%.
Shares of Foxconn, Apple’s supplier, attracted the attention of investors today after the news that the second quarter of 2021 profit exceeded expectations. According to Reuters, Foxconn’s net profit in the second quarter increased 30% year-on-year.
Investors are continuing to monitor the Covid-19 situation in the region after the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the number of global Covid-19 infections could surpass 300 million early next year, if The pandemic is still happening today. This forecast comes just a week after the WHO confirmed there were 200 million cases of Covid-19 globally, just six months after the world hit 100 million infections.
South Korea confirmed the record number of new Covid-19 infections daily has reached more than 2,200, Reuters news agency quoted the South Korean Health Minister on August 11. In Australia, the city of Melbourne has just decided to extend the blockade for another week to prevent the highly contagious Delta variant.
US stocks last night saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index both close at new record points. Specifically, Dow Jones increased 220.30 points, or 0.6%, to 35,484.97 points, while the S&P 500 traded up 0.2% to 4,447.70 points. In contrast, the tech-biased Nasdaq Composite fell 0.1% to 14,765.14 points.
The currencies of the Asia-Pacific region benefited when the US dollar weakened. The US dollar index against other major currencies fell to 92.940, from above 93.1 set yesterday.
“The US dollar depreciated against other strong currencies after the news that the US consumer price index slowed down in July,” said Kathy Lien, co-founder of investment consulting firm 60Second Investor. This female expert said that the Australian and New Zealand dollars benefit the most from the slide in the US dollar.
The Australian dollar this afternoon increased to 1 AUD “eating” $ 0.7361, from 1 AUD / 0.732 USD recorded yesterday. And the New Zealand dollar appreciated and traded 1 NZD for 0.7022 USD, compared with 1 AUD/0.70 USD at the beginning of the week.
“The AUD’s resilience is surprising given the government’s prolonged lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne, after the number of new Covid-19 infections in Sydney hit a new record,” said Ms Kathy. Lien commented.
Meanwhile, the Japanese yen also strengthened and traded 110.41 JPY to 1 USD, from 110.7 JPY/USD yesterday.
Oil prices traded by Asian hours this afternoon fell. Brent crude oil futures futures slid 0.1% to $71.37 per barrel, while US crude futures fell 0.14% to $69.15 per barrel.