Asian shares fell on Wednesday but futures offer hope

Asian shares fell on Wednesday as a spike in new Chinese virus cases sent Hong Kong stocks tumbling and added to worries about the economic impact of the outbreak.

Asian Shares

  • European futures rose 0.22% in early trading and U.S. stock futures were up 0.27%.
  • Chinese stock futures in Singapore rebounded from two days of losses to rise 1.79%, the biggest gain in almost seven weeks.
  • MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.41%.
  • Japan’s Nikkei stock index rose 0.62%, and Australia’s main index added 0.53%, partly because investors in these markets had already had a chance to react to the outbreak, which has claimed more than 100 lives.

Currency Markets

  • In currency markets, the safe-haven yen was quoted at 109.14 per dollar following a 0.2% loss on Tuesday.
  • The Swiss franc, another popular safe-haven, traded at 0.9742 versus the dollar, close to its lowest in almost three weeks.
  • In the offshore market, the yuan was little changed at 6.9620 per dollar but was not far off a one-month low hit earlier this week.
  • Sterling edged lower to $1.3022, on course for its fifth day of declines due to worries about Britain’s trading relationship with the European Union.

Oil Markets

  • U.S. crude rose 1.25% to $54.17 a barrel.
  • Brent crude climbed 1.28% to $60.27.

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