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On renewed virus fears, Asian stocks are following Wall Street lower.



On renewed virus fears, Asian stocks are following Wall Street lower.
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On renewed virus fears, Asian stocks are following Wall Street lower.

On renewed virus fears, Asian stocks are following Wall Street lower.


Following Wall Street’s lead, Asian stock markets fell on Wednesday as European governments tightened anti-coronavirus restrictions, casting doubt on the economy’s recovery.

Shanghai, Tokyo, and Hong Kong market indices all fell.

As technology, industrial, and bank stocks dropped overnight, Wall Street gave up the bulk of the previous day’s gains.

In reaction to spikes in illness, Germany, Europe’s largest economy, and the Netherlands expanded lockdowns and introduced new travel and business restrictions, shaking investor trust.

Following six weeks of declines, the World Health Organization reported that the weekly global death toll from the virus is raising again. The number of new cases reported increased in four of the six global regions, according to the study.

In a paper, Stephen Innes of Axi said, “Investors were scrambling for life jackets, as it appears we are back navigating the stormy sea of the coronavirus pandemic.”

The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.6 percent to 3,392.00, while the Nikkei 225 fell 1.8 percent to 28,465.86 in Tokyo. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.4 percent to 28,090.38.

The South Korean Kospi dropped 0.6 percent to 3,986.00. In Australia, the S&P-ASX 200 index rose 0.5 percent to 6,776.80. New Zealand gained ground, while Singapore lost ground.

In Europe, Germany has extended anti-virus restrictions for three weeks, until April 18, and has ordered that travelers arriving by air must be screened for the coronavirus before boarding. The lockdown in the Netherlands has been extended by three weeks.

It was preceded by similar moves by Italy and France.

Investors are torn between excitement about coronavirus vaccinations, which could enable business and travel to resume, and concern about the recovery’s pace.

Traders are also keeping an eye on the risk of increasing inflation pressures as a result of the influx of credit and government spending that has overwhelmed struggling economies. As a result, bond rates in the United States have fallen, causing some investors to move their money out of stocks.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 index dropped 0.8 percent to 3,910.52 on Tuesday. To 32,423.15, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.9 percent.

The Nasdaq, which is dominated by technology companies, fell 1.1 percent to 13,227.70 points.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told Congress in Washington that something needs to be done to avoid economic damage. Powell said emphatically that he does not believe stimulus policies would result in inflation.

Bond yields, or the gap between market and maturity payouts, have narrowed as rates have risen. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note has dropped to 1.63 percent, from above 1.70 percent last week.

This weighed on banks and other financial institutions, which use yields as a benchmark for interest rates on mortgages and other loans. Bank of America and Wells Fargo also fell by 2.0% and 1.9 percent, respectively. The stock of American Express dropped by 2.8 percent.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, benchmark U.S. crude fell 2 cents to $57.74 per barrel in electronic trading.

After Germany’s lockdown announcement, the contract fell $3.79 to $57.76 on Tuesday, causing fear that demand for business and travel would fall.

Brent crude, which is used to price foreign oils, fell one cent in London to $60.85 a barrel. It fell $3.83 to $60.79 in the previous session.

The dollar fell to 108.52 yen from 108.75 yen on Tuesday. The euro fell from $1.1853 to $1.1848.

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