Asian shares weaker as growth, virus worries temper tech boost

Asian shares turned lower in a choppy session on Friday as abysmal economic data from the United States and rising global COVID-19 cases darkened the mood, despite strong U.S. tech earnings and manufacturing recoveries in China and Japan.

Asian Shares

  • Chinese blue-chips were last up 0.35% in a session that swung repeatedly between gains and losses.
  • Australian shares were down 2.04% and Seoul’s Kospi ticked 0.64% lower.

  • Japan’s Nikkei dropped 2.82% as a stronger yen weighed on exporters.

  • E-mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.2%, and Nasdaq futures added 0.90%.

Currency Markets

  • In the currency market, the dollar slumped 0.40% against the yen to 104.30.
  • The euro jumped 0.35% to buy $1.1888.
  • The greenback remains on course for its worst month in a decade, with the dollar index dropping 0.15% to 92.655.

Commodities

  • Crude oil recovered from an overnight slump, with global benchmark Brent crude rising 0.47% to 43.14 a barrel. U.S. light crude added 0.28% to $40.03 per barrel.
  • Gold also turned higher on the weaker dollar, with spot gold trading 0.61% higher at $1,971.52 per ounce, just short of record highs.

Bonds

  • U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury notes yielded 0.5233%, down from a U.S. close of 0.541% on Thursday.
  • The two-year yield touched 0.1133% compared with a U.S. close of 0.121%.

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