Asian stocks mixed after lackluster day on Wall Street
TOKYO (AP) – Asian stocks were mixed on Wednesday after Wall Street took a break, with major indices falling slightly.
Japan’s Nikkei benchmark fell 0.5% to 29,544.93 and the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.7% to 3,459.25. The Australian S & P / ASX 200 gained 0.3% to 6,903.50. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.3% to 3,136.56. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.3% to 28,845.68.
President Joe Biden has said he is pushing back his deadline for states by two weeks, until April 19, to make all adults in the United States eligible for coronavirus vaccines, reflecting continued progress in the United States.
Optimism about a global economic rebound from the pandemic is growing, but Venkateswaran Lavanya of the Asia and Oceania Treasury Department of Mizuho Bank noted that some countries are lagging behind in a “divergent recovery.”
“To be sure, the assessment of aggregate growth is optimistic. The global GDP contraction for 2020, to 3.3%, was not as severe as the 4.4% drop expected earlier, ”Lavanya said, referring to gross domestic product.
The International Monetary Fund has said it expects global economic growth accelerate this year as vaccine distribution ramps up and the world rebounds. The 190-country lending agency said it expects the global economy to grow 6% in 2021, down from 5.5% it forecast in January. It would be the fastest expansion in IMF records dating back to 1980.
Trading in shares of Toshiba Corp. was halted after the Tokyo-based tech conglomerate confirmed it had received a preliminary acquisition proposal.
Toshiba Corp. said he was seeking more details on the proposal, giving it “careful consideration” and would make an announcement “in due course”. Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei reported that CVC Capital Partners was planning to acquire the company for 2 trillion yen ($ 18 billion).
CVC is an international private equity and credit firm that has committed nearly $ 162 billion in funds, managing more than 300 investors. He declined to comment.
Toshiba, founded in 1875, has long been revered as one of Japan’s most respected brands, but in recent years it has been mired in scandals and overwhelmed by its investments in nuclear power. After the March 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, its costs skyrocketed amid growing security concerns and renewed confidence in nuclear power in countries like Germany.
On Wall Street, stocks ended slightly lower, pulling the market to all-time highs reached a day earlier. Most of the decline was tech and health care inventories.
The S&P 500 broke a three-day winning streak, slipping 0.1% to 4,073.94, after hesitating between small gains and losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3% to 33,430.24. Both indices hit all-time highs on Monday. The highly technical Nasdaq composite slipped 0.1% to 13,698.38.
Small company shares, which have outpaced the general market this year, have also fallen. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index fell 0.3% to 2,259.15. The index is up 14.4% so far this year, while the S&P 500, which tracks large companies, is up 8.5%.
Financials fell as bond yields eased. This has thwarted the broader gains of companies that depend on continued economic growth to recover. Oil prices have gone up.
Recent market swings mostly reflect varying assessments of the health and speed of the recovery from the pandemic.
Vaccine distribution accelerates the reopening of businesses, while government stimulus measures help consolidate them in the meantime.
Even if this shift occurs, the technology and other stocks that have benefited from the closings still look fundamentally strong, said Jeff Buchbinder, equity strategist at LPL Financial.
“We see this battle happening here in the markets every day,” he said. “This will lead to some unsubscribing.”
Retailers, cruise lines and hoteliers were among the winners on Tuesday. The spread increased 2.5%, Norwegian Cruise Line added 4.6% and Wynn Resorts gained 4%. Alaska Air Group climbed 3.7%, while Delta Air Lines closed up 2.8%.
The United States Department of Labor reported that vacancies reached highest level on record in February, a harbinger of healthy hiring and a sign of hope for those looking for work. The upbeat report follows encouraging reports last week on job growth and improvements in the service sector, which is one of the sectors of the economy hardest hit by the pandemic.
Swiss bank Credit Suisse expects $ 4.7 billion loss linked to a default of an American hedge fund. Two senior executives leave the bank. Credit Suisse has also suspended a share buyback program and reduced its dividend. The bank’s U.S.-listed shares, which already fell sharply last week after the initial default announcement, rose 0.9% on Tuesday.
In energy trading, benchmark US crude edged up 9 cents to $ 59.42 per barrel in e-commerce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 68 cents to $ 59.33 a barrel on Tuesday. Brent, the international standard, rose 7 cents to $ 62.81 a barrel.
In currency trading, the US dollar was at 109.82 Japanese yen, almost unchanged from 109.81 yen on Tuesday night. The euro was unchanged at $ 1.1870.
Damian J. Troise and Alex Veiga, Editors of AP Business, contributed.