Asia-Pacific stocks dip as coronavirus fears linger

  • Stocks in Japan were set to trade lower at the Tuesday open as concerns over a recent coronavirus surge in multiple countries globally dent investor sentiment and dull optimism over the rollout of a vaccine in the U.S..
  • A set of Chinese economic data is expected to be out at around 10 a.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday, including industrial production as well as retail sales for November.

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were lower in Tuesday morning trade as concerns over a coronavirus surge in multiple countries dulled optimism over the vaccine rollout in the U.S.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dipped 0.13% while the Topix index traded 0.15% lower. South Korea's Kospi shed 0.24%.

Shares in Australia were also lower, with the S&P/ASX 200 down 0.46%. The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to release its meeting minutes at around 8:30 a.m. HK/SIN.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.07% lower.

A set of Chinese economic data is expected to be released at around 10:00 a.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday, including industrial production as well as retail sales for November.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 184.82 points lower at 29,861.55. The S&P 500 declined by 0.44% to finish its trading day at 3,647.49. The Nasdaq Composite, on the other hand, rose 0.5% to close at 12,440.04.

The U.S. coronavirus death toll topped 300,000, outpacing every other country in the world by a margin of 100,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, as Americans received some of the first shots of Pfizer's vaccine. New York City's mayor warned that the city could experience a "full shutdown" soon.

Elsewhere, London will be moved into England's toughest tier of coronavirus restrictions from midnight on Wednesday morning.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.711 following an earlier bounce from levels below 90.6.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.02 per dollar after seeing levels below 103.8 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7539 following levels above $0.756 seen yesterday.

What's on tap:

  • Australia: Reserve Bank of Australia's meeting minutes at 8:30 a.m. HK/SIN
  • China: Fixed asset investment, Industrial production, retail sales data for November at 10:00 a.m. HK/SIN

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