Asian stock markets retreat as virus and Sino-U.S. tensions flare

Asian stock markets slipped on Tuesday, oil sagged and a safety bid supported the dollar as simmering Sino-U.S. tensions and fresh coronavirus restrictions in California kept a lid on investor optimism as earnings season gets underway.

Asian Stock

  • MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.2 per cent.
  • Japan’s Nikkei retreated from a one-month high touched on Monday, dropping 0.9 per cent.

Currency Markets

  • Currency markets hemmed the dollar in a tight range, with the kiwi stalling its grind higher at $0.6535 and the Aussie sat at $0.6945.
  • The euro hung on to overnight gains at $1.1343.

Oil Prices

  • Oil prices, a proxy for global energy consumption and therefore growth expectations, reflected the growing worries. U.S crude futures fell 2.4 per cent to $39.14 per barrel.
  • Brent futures fell 2.1 per cent to $41.81 per barrel.\

Gold Price and Bonds

  • Spot gold sat below recent peaks at $1.797.30 per ounce and U.S. Treasuries were firm.
  • The yield on benchmark 10-year U.S. government debt was $0.6168 per cent.

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