Asian markets slip in opening trade

Reuters Washington | Updated on August 05, 2020 Published on August 05, 2020

A woman stands in front of a display showing market indices at the Tokyo Stock Exchange (file photo)   -  Reuters

Asia shares opened lower on Wednesday, following a choppy trading session on Wall Street and losses in Europe.

While Japan’s Nikkei declined 179.84 points, or 0.80%, to 22,393.82, Hong Kong index edged down 0.10% at 24,922.79 in the opening trading session. Australian shares also opened lower by 0.93% from yesterday’s levels as Covid-19 rose in the country.

Spot gold rose in early trade and touched a fresh record of $2,025.76 per ounce. Prices have soared 33% so far this year.

Wall Street shares ended higher after choppy trade as hopes mounted U.S. leaders would agree on another coronavirus stimulus package. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.62%, the S&P 500 rose 0.36% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.35%.

White House negotiators late Tuesday vowed to work “around the clock” to reach a spending deal by the end of the week, but the Treasury Secretary warned they were not “going anywhere close” to the $3.4 trillion Democratic leaders sought.

U.S. lawmakers missed a deadline last week to extend the $600 per week enhanced unemployment payments. The payments are key element of the Democrats' proposal, but Senate Republicans have proposed to significantly slash the benefits.

The stimulus expectations on Tuesday sent gold prices above the key $2,000 mark for the first time in history and lifted crude oil futures to their highest since March.

Bullion also got a boost as treasury bond yields fell to new lows, National Australia Bank analysts said on Wednesday. The five-year treasury yield hit a record low and the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield dropped to a five-month trough, indicating dim investor outlook for the U.S. economic recovery.

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Published on August 05, 2020
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