Stocks in Asia decline; Wall Street rallies to highs again
Stocks in Asia declined in Tuesday morning trade as major indexes on Wall Street saw fresh closing highs overnight.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.65% in morning trade while the Topix index was 0.5% lower.
Minutes from the Bank of Japan’s December monetary policy meeting showed members agreeing that the central bank would “not hesitate to take additional easing measures if necessary” as it monitors the impact of Covid-19.
“Based on this, most members shared the view that, as for policy rates, it would expect short- and long-term interest rates to remain at their present or lower levels,” the minutes said.
South Korea’s Kospi also slipped 1.14%.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.49% lower.
Markets in Australia and India are closed on Tuesday for holidays.
Shares of Apple suppliers in Asia mostly rose in Tuesday morning trade after the Cupertino-based tech giant’s stock stateside rose to an all-time high on Monday.
In Japan, Taiyo Yuden shares gained 1.66% while Murata Manufacturing advanced 0.99%. In Taiwan, shares of Hon Hai Precision Industry — better known as Foxconn — gained 0.81% while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company rose 0.47%. LG Display’s stock in South Korea, however, shed 0.42%.
On the coronavirus front, Moderna said Monday it’s accelerating work on a Covid-19 booster shot for the recently discovered variant in South Africa. The firm’s researchers said its current coronavirus vaccine appears to work against the two highly transmissible strains found in the U.K. and South Africa, though it looks like it may be less effective against the latter.
|.N225||Nikkei 225 Index||NIKKEI||28546.18||-276.11||-0.96|
|.HSI||Hang Seng Index||HSI||29426.80||-732.21||-2.43|
|.AXJO||S&P/ASX 200||ASX 200||6824.70||24.30||0.36|
|.FTFCNBCA||CNBC 100 ASIA IDX||CNBC 100||11534.59||-213.52||-1.82|
Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose 0.4% to a new record close of 3,855.36. The Nasdaq Composite also reached a fresh closing high, advancing 0.7% to 13,635.99. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged as it dipped 36.98 points to end its trading day at 30,960.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.401 after seeing levels below 90.3 earlier.
The Japanese yen traded at 103.73 per dollar, weaker than levels below 103.5 against the greenback seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7704, weaker than levels above $0.772 seen yesterday.