Reuters | Jun 25, 2020 13:40
* Virus surges in U.S., new restrictions considered
* AxJ down 0.7%, falls over 1% in Japan and Australia
* U.S. stock futures down 0.4%; dollar steady
* Asian stock markets: https://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4
By Tom Westbrook
SINGAPORE, June 25 (Reuters) - Asian stocks posted their
biggest drop in eight sessions, bonds rose and the U.S. dollar
was firm on Thursday as surging U.S. coronavirus cases and an
International Monetary Fund downgrade to economic projections
knocked confidence in a recovery.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
.MIAPJ0000PUS fell 0.7%, Tokyo's Nikkei .N225 slumped 1.1%
and Australia's ASX 200 .AXJO tumbled 2.1%.
U.S. stock futures ESc1 declined 0.4%, suggesting
Wednesday's Wall Street slide might have further to run. In
Europe, however, where strong data has supported risk appetite
this week, futures were only marginally in the red.
German DAX futures FDXc1 were down 0.1% and EuroSTOXX 50
futures STXEc1 were off 0.3%. Britain's FTSE futures FFIc1
Florida, Oklahoma and South Carolina reported record
increases in new cases on Wednesday. Seven other states had
record highs earlier in the week and Australia posted its
biggest daily rise in infections in two months.
The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut
ordered travellers from eight other states to quarantine on
arrival, a worry for investors who had mostly been expecting an
end to pandemic restrictions. Disney DIS.N has delayed the re-opening of theme parks and
resorts in California, while Texas is facing a "massive
outbreak" and considering new localised restrictions, Governor
Greg Abbott said in a television interview.
Australian airline Qantas QAN.AX said on Thursday it
doesn't expect sizeable international operations until at least
July 2021, as the carrier announced plans to sack a fifth of its
workforce and raise $1.3 billion to stay afloat. The International Monetary Fund said it now expects a deeper
global recession, with output to shrink 4.9% this year, much
sharper than the 3% contraction predicted in April. is a little bit of reality bites coming," said Damian
Rooney, senior institutional salesman at stockbroker Argonaut in
"I don't think there was a particular straw that broke the
camel's back, but people are a little bit twitchy - there are a
lot of reasons to be pretty cautious."
The dollar clung on to broad overnight gains which had
lifted it from near a two-week low. FRX/
Yields on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries US10YT=RR fell
to a ten-day low of 0.6692%. Markets in Hong Kong and mainland
China were closed for public holidays on Thursday.
Anxiety is likely to remain heightened ahead of U.S. data,
including jobless claims figures due at 1230 GMT, as well as the
latest coronavirus numbers. Confidence could be dented by
disappointment on either count.
"Any improvement in jobs might be counteracted if there is
another pickup in the case load in the United States," said Kyle
Rodda, market analyst at brokerage IG in Melbourne.
"It's a potential handbrake on the growth rebound story."
Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane is also due to
speak about the future of society at 1700 GMT. Haldane argued
against last week's increase to the bank's bond-buying
programme. On top of virus concerns, worrying signals on the trade
front and political uncertainty have unnerved investors.
The United States has added items valued at $3.1 billion to
a list of European goods eligible to be hit with import duties.
The Trump administration has determined that China's Huawei
and video surveillance company Hikvision 002415.SZ , are owned
or controlled by the Chinese military, laying the groundwork for
sanctions and fresh Sino-U.S. tension. That has stalled a rally in riskier currencies, and pushed
the Australian dollar AUD=D3 under 69 cents and had the kiwi
NZD=D3 stuck around 64 cents. AUD/
Gold XAU= steadied at $1,761.85 an ounce. GOL/
U.S. crude futures CLc1 fell by 26 cents a barrel or 0.7%
to $37.75 and Brent crude futures LCOc1 fell 0.8% to $39.99.
Global assets http://tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl
Global currencies vs. dollar http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
Emerging markets http://tmsnrt.rs/2ihRugV
MSCI All Country Wolrd Index Market Cap http://tmsnrt.rs/2EmTD6j
Written By: Reuters
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