Asia-Pacific stocks slip as sentiment remains cautious on coronavirus risk


SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific slipped in Wednesday morning trade as coronavirus infections continue to rise stateside.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 shed 0.39% while the Topix index declined 0.57%. South Korea’s Kospi also traded 0.24% lower.

Shares in Australia were lower, as the S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.14%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.14% lower.

On the economic data front, Australia’s consumer price index for the third quarter is expected to be out at around 8:30 a.m. HK/SIN.

Ahead of that data release, the Australian dollar traded at $0.7123, above levels below $0.704 seen last week.

Investor sentiment on Wednesday will likely be impacted by the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the U.S.

“Markets remain in a cautious mood given rising hospitalisation rates may require tougher restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19 and ensure hospitals do not become overwhelmed,” Tapas Strickland, director of economics at National Australia Bank, wrote in a note.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 222.19 points to close at 27,463.19. The S&P 500 slipped 0.3% to finish its trading day at 3,390.68. The Nasdaq Composite bucked the negative trend as it gained 0.6% to close at 11,431.35.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, sat at 93.145 after seeing levels around 92.8 earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.50 per dollar, having strengthened from levels around 105 against the greenback this week.

What’s on tap:

  • Australia: Consumer price index for third quarter at 8:30 a.m. HK/SIN



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