January 29, 2023

Asian stocks start with caution as Reuters’ COVID-19 cases rise

© Reuters. File photo: August 27, 2015 An investor looks at an electronic board displaying stock information at a brokerage house in Beijing. REUTERS / Jason Lee

Written by Swati Pandey

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian stocks made a cautious start on Monday as corona virus cases rose across Asia, hurting investor sentiment while oil hit a 2-1 / 2-year high.

Outside Japan, the broadest index of MSCI’s Asia-Pacific stock was 703.17, close to its two-week high of 705.35 on June 16. Australian stocks fell 0.3%, while South Korea’s index was slightly higher.

Was 0.1% weak.

Sydney, Australia’s most populous city, sank after a series of lawsuits related to the highly contagious delta strain, amid concerns over an increase in corona virus infections in Asia.

When a lockout is extended in Malaysia, Indonesia is battling record high cases. Thailand also announced new restrictions in Bangkok and other provinces.

Last week, global stocks hit record highs as US stocks were weaker than expected and the news of a bipartisan US infrastructure deal increased risk appetite. ()

The value of the infrastructure project is $ 1.2 trillion over eight years, of which $ 579 billion is new spending.

“Investors are keenly watching the progress of US President Biden’s bilateral infrastructure deal through Congress. Investing in renewable and electronic vehicle (EV) infrastructure could significantly boost demand for this package,” ANZ analysts wrote in a note.

Oil prices in early Asian trade have been at an all-time high since October 2018, expectation is higher than demand growth and OPEC + will be wary of sending more crude back to the market from August. [O/R]

The futures were up 7 cents at $ 76.25 a barrel and 6 cents at $ 74.11.

In Asia, all focus will be on official factory operations from China on Wednesday. Production is expected to fall from 51 to 50.7. Production of private sector gas will continue later in the BMI week.

On Friday, it rose 2.7% for the week, its strongest weekly gain since the beginning of February, lower than the level of core inflation expected in May, easing fears of a sudden knock on the Federal Reserve stimulus. ()

The Dow rose 0.7%, down 0.06% after the technology-heavy Nasdaq was close to the previous session record high. MSCI levels around the world completed a record high of 721.91.

“The central bank is widely expected to improve its communications during Q3. The basic market expectation is that tapering will start in January and run up to US $ 10 billion per month,” ANZ economists said.

“However, if inflation rises, tapping should start soon and happen at a faster pace.”

Views of the inflation outlook, which underscore market warnings about potential volatility ahead of key economic data and corporate earnings statements, remain mixed.

Michael Hortnet, a leading strategist at Bank of America (NYSE), wrote in a note that US inflation would continue to rise for two to four years, and that a market downturn alone would prevent central banks from tightening their grip in the next six months.

Later in the week, the meticulously monitored U.S. employment report will be released in June, indicating strong labor demand.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields closed above 1.50% for the week, with rates seeing the biggest gains since March. [US/]

In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, monetary and financial stimulus around the world is boosting financial assets despite inconsistent recovery speeds between regions.

Boston Federal Reserve Chairman Eric Rosengren on Friday said creating low-interest rate-linked financial stability risks could lead to another slump, disrupting the labor market recovery and preventing a return to maximum employment.

Function disabled in currencies. The US dollar was stable in precision trading against the basket of other currencies. [USD/]

The Japanese yen traded around 110.80 against the greenback and the euro was at $ 1.1936.

In commodities, an ounce added 0.1% to $ 1,782.2, as US personal consumption eased to lower-than-expected inflation and tight currency conditions, boosting investor demand for the yellow metal. [GOL/]