Alexa

Asia markets stall amid resurgent economic fears

Asia markets stall amid resurgent economic fears

Asian markets stalled Thursday, with Japan's index off nearly 2 percent, as investors began to doubt a global rally could be sustained amid more grim news about the region's powerhouse economies.
Most markets edged into the red, led by shares in automakers and financial firms, in lackluster trade that defied a modest rise on Wall Street overnight.
Stocks worldwide rallied on Wednesday as indications struggling U.S. bank Citigroup may be turning a profit lifted optimism about the hard-hit financial system, whose recovery is seen as essential to ending the global slump.
But there was little to entice investors Thursday after figures this week showed a continued sharp drop-off in Chinese exports and Japanese industrial spending _ the latest evidence that Asia's economies were getting clobbered by an economic crisis that has leveled overseas consumer demand for exports.
On Thursday, revised figures showed that Japan's economy, the world's second largest, suffered its biggest contraction in 35 years in the fourth quarter. The gloom extended to corporations, with Toyota saying it was worried its suppliers may face a cash crunch.
"The markets are still lacking momentum, we had a one day spike in volumes and its back to quiet markets today. There's still a lot of indecision and skepticism ," said John Mar, co-head of sales trading, Daiwa Securities SMBC Co.
"There was a slew of economic data that point to a slowdown in China. Two large U.S. banks talked up profits, but nothing has changed fundamentally and there's little to get you pumped back into the markets."
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 stock average fell 117.66 points, 1.6 percent, to 7,258.46, and South Korea's Kospi was off 16.13, or 1.4 percent, at 1,111.07.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was down 41.81 points, or 0.4 percent, at 11,888.61 in choppy trade.
Markets in Australia and Singapore also traded lower; Taiwan's market gained.
Overnight in New York, Wall Street managed to eke out a second day of gains after a huge rally the day before.
The Dow rose 3.91, or 0.1 percent, to 6,930.40. The rise gives the blue chips their third advance in four sessions.The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1.76, or 0.2 percent, to 721.36.
U.S. futures pointed to a modestly lower open on Wall Street Thursday.
Oil prices recovered somewhat from a steep fall overnight, with benchmark crude for April delivery up 52 cents at $42.85 a barrel in Asian trade. On Wednesday, the contract tumbled $3.38, or more than 7 percent, to settle at $42.33.
In currencies, the dollar swooned to 96.29 yen from 97.31 yen. The euro traded higher at $1.2831.


Updated : 2020-12-02 15:18 GMT+08:00