Asian shares drop amid worries over spreading COVID-19 cases
Asian shares have opened lower as rising cases of coronavirus infections in the U.S., Europe and Asia add to worries that economies will once again be hamstrung by pandemic restrictions on travel and businesses.
Reports of surging COVID-19 cases have had a sobering effect on markets that had advanced on hopes for a vaccine and expectations that pro-business policies will continue after last week’s U.S. elections.
- Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 sank 1.0% to 25,254.31.
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.5% to 6,383.70.
- South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.2% lower to 2,471.26.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.8% to 25,958.49.
- The Shanghai Composite dipped 1.3% to 3,294.57.
- In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude lost 45 cents to $40.67 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
- It lost 33 cents to $41.12 on Thursday.
- Brent crude, the international standard, fell 43 cents to $43.10 a barrel.
- In currency trading, the U.S. dollar edged down to 104.88 Japanese yen from 105.13 yen late Thursday.
- The euro cost $1.1810, up from $1.1803.