Stocks in major Asian markets declined on Thursday as investors weighed a spike in the number of new coronavirus cases reported in China’s Hubei province due to a tweak in methodology.
Mainland Chinese stocks reversed earlier gains and ended their trading day lower.
- The Shanghai composite down 0.71% to about 2,906.07.
- The Shenzhen component declining 0.7% to 10,864.32
- The Shenzhen composite fell 0.769% to around 1,771.61.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 0.29% lower, as of its final hour of trading.
- In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.14% to close at 23,827.73.
- The Topix index finished its trading day 0.34% lower at 1,713.08.
- Shares of conglomerate Softbank Group declined after Wednesday’s blockbuster surge, falling 5.09% on the day, with the moves on Thursday coming after the firm posted a near wipe out of its quarterly profit.
- Meanwhile, South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.24% to finish its trading day at 2,232.96 as shares of automaker Hyundai Motor dropped 2.21%.
- Stocks in Australia closed in positive territory, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.21% to 7,103.20.
- The MSCI Asia ex-Japan index was 0.17% lower.
- The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 98.995 after an earlier low of 98.980.
- The Japanese yen, often seen as a safe-haven currency in times of economic uncertainty, traded at 109.79 per dollar following an earlier low of 110.09. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6716 after touching an earlier high of $0.6738.
- The offshore Chinese yuan weakened against the greenback, last trading at 6.9836 per dollar, while its onshore counterpart was at 6.9822 per dollar.
- Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark
- Brent crude futures slipping 0.25% to $55.65 per barrel.
- U.S. crude futures were fractionally lower at $51.15 per barrel.