Asian shares slide, following Wall St selloff on virus fears

Asian shares slide, following Wall St selloff on virus fears


BANGKOK (AP) — Shares fell Monday in Asia, tracking losses on Wall Street as rising virus cases cause some U.S. states to backtrack on pandemic reopenings.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index lost 2.3%. Shares also fell in Hong Kong, Sydney, Shanghai and South Korea.

Investors have been banking on businesses continuing to reopen, helping to drive a recovery from the worst global downturn since the 1930s Great Depression.

But the S&P 500 fell 2.4% Friday as Texas and Florida reversed course and clamped down on bars again in the nation’s biggest retreat yet. The new coronavirus has surged back in many places, especially the American South and West.

Concern has deepened as the number of confirmed cases topped 10 million, with more than 500,000 reported dead from COVID-19, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Such data is thought to understate the problem due to issues with testing and a large number of asymptomatic cases.

The Nikkei 225 lost 517 points to 21,995.04, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped 1.4% to 24,214.87. The Kospi in Seoul fell 2% to 2,092.58 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gave up 1.8% to 5,800.10. The Shanghai Composite lost 0.8% to 2,954.48. The SET in Bangkok gave up 0.6%. Shares also fell in Taiwan and Singapore.

Futures for the S&P 500 and Dow industrials were 0.2% lower.

Even as virus outbreaks flare, economic data, which lag such daily measures of the pandemic, are signaling a recovery, albeit a fragile one.

“Conflicting signals between the Covid-19 spread and economic data continue to keep risk sentiment, and consequently markets, in a gridlock going into the end of June," said Jingyi Pan of IG. “As far as the weekend leads are concerned, however, the topping of the 10 million mark for global COVID-19 cases had tipped...

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