Asian stock markets sank on Friday as traders saw an increase in cases of coronavirus in Europe and anti-disease controls that threaten to disrupt trade and travel.
Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney went down. The US markets were closed on Thursday due to a public holiday.
Austria imposed a nationwide 10-day lockdown after its daily virus deaths tripled, while Italy imposed curbs on unvaccinated people. The US government advised Americans to avoid Germany and Denmark. Morocco suspended flights from France after daily new cases rose above 30,000.
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“Traders will closely monitor the situation with the new COVID wave across Europe,” said Anderson Alves of ActivTrades in a report. Alves said that curbs imposed by China that restrict access for ship crews “prolong a crisis” in global trade.
The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4% to 3,569.86 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo plunged by an unusually wide margin of 2.5% to 28,779.03. Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 1.9% to 24,260.94.
Kospi in Seoul lost 1% to 2,949.71 and Sydney’s S & P-ASX 200 fell to 7,301.90. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets also fell.
The Wall Street benchmark S&P 500 closed up 0.2 percent on Wednesday. US markets will reopen on Friday for a shortened trading session.
Investors are more cautious after Federal Reserve officials said in notes from the October meeting released this week that they anticipated the possibility of responding to higher inflation by raising interest rates faster than previously planned.
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The financial markets had been encouraged by the earnings of strong US companies and signs that the global economy was recovering after last year’s historic decline in activity due to the pandemic. Share prices have been strengthened by simple credit and other measures implemented by the Fed and other central banks.
Investors worry that central bankers may feel pressure to withdraw stimuli earlier than planned due to stronger-than-expected inflation. The Fed said earlier that they predicted keeping interest rates low until the end of next year.
In the energy markets, benchmark US crude fell $ 1.68 to $ 76.71 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil, the price base for international oils, lost $ 1.29 to $ 79.63 per barrel in London.
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The dollar fell to 114.62 yen from Thursday’s 115.36 yen. The euro advanced to $ 1.1224 from $ 1.1221.