Asia-Pacific stocks mixed as pandemic recovery doubts weigh on sentiment

  • Concerns over the global economy's recovery from the pandemic weighed on investor sentiment in Asia-Pacific.
  • The World Health Organization said earlier this week that many regions globally are seeing an increase in new Covid-19 cases.

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Wednesday morning trade as concerns over the world's recovery from the pandemic weighed on investor sentiment.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped 0.52% in early trade while the Topix index declined 0.53% Over in South Korea, the Kospi slid 0.74%.

Shares in Australia, on the other hand, edged higher as the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.35%.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.24% lower.

Many regions globally are seeing an increase in new Covid-19 cases as highly contagious variants continue to spread, the World Health Organization said earlier this week. In Europe, authorities continue to struggle with the virus as the region battles a third Covid wave.

In corporate developments, Chinese internet behemoth Tencent is set to announce its fourth quarter and annual results on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Chinese streaming company Bilibili announced Tuesday that it will raise 20.2 billion Hong Kong dollars (about $2.6 billion) in its upcoming Hong Kong secondary listing after pricing its shares at 808 Hong Kong dollars each. Shares of Bilibili are expected to begin trading in Hong Kong on Monday.

Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 declined 0.76% to close at 3,910.52 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 308.05 points to finish its trading day at 32,423.15. The Nasdaq Composite closed 1.12% lower at 13,227.70.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.419 following a rise from levels below 91.8 earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.54 per dollar, as compared to levels around 108.9 against the greenback seen earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7609 after declining yesterday from above $0.768.

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