Asian stock markets merged on Wednesday after Wall Street collapsed as concerns about the long-term effects of the anger of the coronavirus epidemic about potential vaccine development.
Benchmarks declined in Tokyo and Hong Kong while Shanghai and Seoul advanced.
The announcement that two developers are making progress on a coronavirus vaccine has encouraged traders. But the increasing number of infections in the United States and Europe has increased the threat of new restrictions on trade and movement.
Mizo Bank said in a report, “The reality of the rising COVID-19 cases has taken a hold on the financial markets.”
Also on Wednesday, Japan reported a 0.2% drop in its exports from a year earlier in October.
Nikkei 225 closed 0.7% to 25,827.23 in Tokyo while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.4% to 3,355.06. Hang Seng in Hong Kong was down 0.1% to 26,383.95.
Cospi was down 0.1% at 2,539.20 in Seoul and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 was up 0.3% at 6,515.50.
US data showed retail spending was lower than expected in October.
Federal Reserve President Jerome Powell said Tuesday is “a long way to go” before the US economy returns to pre-epidemic levels.
Powell warned “the next few months could be very challenging” and said that the Fed is committed to supporting recovery.
High stocks this month raised hopes that a vaccine or two could return the global economy to normal next year amid concerns.
On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 fell 0.5% from its record to 3,609.53. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also declined 0.6% to 29,783.35. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.2% to close at 11,899.34.
Pharmacy stocks were among the biggest declines after e-commerce Amazon opened an online operation to compete with them. Right-Aid fell 16.3% and Valores Boots Alliance 9.6%. Amazon ticked up 0.1%.
Tesla rose 8.2% following an announcement that it would join the S&P 500 index next month. It has become one of the largest stocks in the index after climbing nearly 390% this year.
Sales at US retailers rose 0.3% last month, down from 1.6% in September. This figure also fell short of the 0.5% growth forecast.
Additional unemployment benefits that help support consumer spending are eliminated and progress on a possible new aid plan in Congress is slow.
“The concern is that people will lose faith in efforts to control the epidemic,” said Pavel of the Fed. We are already seeing signs of this. ”
In energy markets, benchmark US crude fell 28 cents to $ 41.15 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 9 cents to $ 41.43 on Tuesday. Brent crude, the standard for pricing international oils, sheds 22 cents to $ 43.53 a barrel in London. It lost 7 cents of $ 43.75 last season.
The dollar was down 104.13 yen from Tuesday’s 104.21 yen. The euro dipped from $ 1.1864 to $ 1.1860.