Asian shares up, Shanghai slips as virus fears cloud outlook

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Asian stocks were mostly up on Monday, but fears of further waves of the coronavirus outbreak were weighing on the region’s economic outlook, bucking the rally.

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Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.3% to 30,35.62. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.7% to 7,393.60. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.6% to 3,142.08. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged up 1.2% at 24,479.52, while the Shanghai Composite was down 0.5% at 3,595.97.

Japan’s ruling party holds elections later this week to choose a leader who is likely to succeed Yoshihide Suga as prime minister after only a year in office. Despite some nuance in their views, all candidates are sure to stick to the country’s pro-US policies.

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All of them are also promising to boost government spending to try to catalyze growth in the world’s third-largest economy.

Analysts also said that Japan’s central bank “tankan” the economic survey for the third quarter, due on Friday, showing a worsening of business conditions in many regions due to the new outbreak of COVID-19 and various disruptions in supply chains. Will give

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Although parts of the world have lifted COVID-19 restrictions and are slowly returning to “normal” life, concerns about infection waves in Asia remain as vaccine rollouts in some countries have been slower than in the West Is.

In Singapore, further COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in an effort to stem the spread of the virus, as daily new cases reached the city-state peak in April 2020.

Overall, the manufacturing sector may remain resilient as seen from the previous phases of restrictions, but the services sector may come under pressure. That said, previous trade adjustments and softer tightening than previous sanctions phases could help mitigate some of the impact,” said Yep Jun Rong, market strategist at IG in Singapore.

Wall Street closed out a choppy week of trading with a mixed end for major stock indexes, though the S&P 500 posted its first weekly gain in three weeks.

The S&P 500 rose 0.1% to 4,455.48 and is now within 1.9% of its all-time high on Sept. 2. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% to 34,798. The Nasdaq slipped less than 0.1% to 15,047.70, while the Russell 2000 fell 0.5% to 2,248.07.

US markets have had a bad September month and investors could be in for more volatility given various concerns, including COVID-19 and its impact on the economy, as well as a slow recovery for the job market.

Troubled Chinese real estate developer Evergrande’s worries still loom over global markets. Some Chinese banks disclosed on Friday what they owed Evergrande, trying to allay fears of financial turmoil as it faces less than $310 billion in debt.

In energy trading, US benchmark crude rose $1.17 to $75.15 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 68 cents to $73.98 a barrel on Friday. Internationally, Brent crude rose $1.29 to $79.38 a barrel.

In currency trading, the US dollar fell from 110.71 yen to 110.69 Japanese yen. Euro price is $1.1724, which is above $1.1722.

Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Asian

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