Asian shares were off to a mixed start on Thursday as hopes of US fiscal stimulus before the presidential election faded and a record number of new coronavirus infections in parts of Europe propelled investors toward safe-havens such as gold.
Downbeat comments from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that a stimulus deal was unlikely be made before the November 3 vote weighed on fragile investor sentiment.
- MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.1per cent .
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.6per cent , while Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.3per cent.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index futures were down 0.49 per cent.
- E-mini futures for the S&P 500 were flat.
- The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.15per cent , after pulling its best day in three weeks on Tuesday, with the euro unchanged at $1.1746.
- The yen gained 0.4per cent to hit a near two-week high of 105.11 against the dollar.
- A weaker dollar, which makes oil cheaper for holders of other currencies, supported oil prices.
- Brent crude gained 92 cents, or 2.2per cent , to $43.37 a barrel.
- US West Texas Intermediate added 87 cents, or 2.2per cent , to $41.0.