Asian shares kick-off week on cautious note as COVID-19 cases spike

June 28 (Businesshala) – Asian stocks got off to a cautious start on Monday, with Chinese markets steadfast as a spike in coronavirus cases across the region hurt investor sentiment over the weekend, while oil hovered around 2-1/0. Hovered. Height of 2 years.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was weaker at 702.57. Australian shares (.AXJO) slid 0.2%. South Korea’s benchmark KOSPI (.KS11) was barely changed, as was Japan’s Nikkei (.N225).

Investors were worried about a spike in coronavirus infections in Asia, with Sydney, Australia’s most populous city, following a cluster of cases linked to the highly contagious Delta strain balloon.

Indonesia is battling with a record high number of cases while the lockdown in Malaysia is set to be extended. Thailand also announced new restrictions in Bangkok and other provinces.

Chinese shares were a touch higher with the CSI300 index (.CSI300) up 0.2%. Data from the weekend showed profit growth in China’s industrial firms slowed again in May as rising raw material prices dented margins and impacted factory activity.

Investors will keep a close eye on China’s official factory activity scheduled for Wednesday. Manufacturing readings are expected to slow to 51 to 50.7. The private sector Caixin Manufacturing PMI will follow later in the week.

Last week, global stocks hit record highs as weaker-than-expected US inflation and news of a bipartisan US infrastructure agreement fueled risk appetite.

The infrastructure plan is valued at $1.2 trillion over eight years, of which $579 billion is new spending.

Analysts at ANZ wrote in a note, “Investors are keenly watching the progress of US President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure deal through Congress. The package is fueling demand, driven by investments in renewable and electronic vehicle (EV) infrastructure.” Could increase a lot.”

Oil prices climbed to their all-time high in early Asian trading in October 2018 on hopes that demand growth will outpace supply and OPEC+ will remain cautious in returning more crude to the market from August.

Brent futures rose 12 cents to $76.30 a barrel, while US crude rose 13 cents to $74.18.

On Friday, the S&P 500 (.SPX) rose 2.7% for the week, its strongest weekly gain since early February. A measure of underlying inflation in May was lower than expected, easing fears of a sudden reduction in stimulus by the Federal Reserve. is. Reserve.

The Dow (.DJI) climbed 0.7%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq (.IXIC) fell 0.06% near the previous session’s record high.

Later in the week, a closely watched US jobs report for June will be released that could point to strong labor demand.

The yield for the benchmark 10-year US Treasury closed a week higher by bouncing back above 1.50%, marking their biggest gain in rates since March.

Monetary and fiscal stimulus around the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is boosting financial assets, despite the uneven pace of recovery between sectors.

Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren warned Friday that the build-up to financial stability risks associated with a low-interest rate environment could lead to another recession that hinders labor market recovery and the return of maximum employment. puts.

Among currencies, the US dollar was marginally stronger at 91.846 against a basket of other currencies.

The Japanese yen weakened to 110.65 against the greenback and the euro declined to $1.1925.

Gold edged lower as the dollar strengthened and fell 0.4% to $1,771.9 an ounce.

Editing by Sri Navaratnam

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