Shanghai Composite collapses 4% after data and as vaccine hopes fade
Stocks fell in Asia on Thursday as investors reflected on figures showing the Chinese economy had returned to growth in the last quarter.
The Shanghai SHCOMP Composite Index,
led Thursday’s declines, falling 4.5%. Benchmarks also fell in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney.
News that the Chinese economy grew 3.2% year on year from April to June, after contracting 6.8% in the previous quarter, failed to maintain an overnight rally.
The expansion came when antivirus lockdowns were lifted and factories and stores reopened. But it was still the lowest positive figure since China started reporting quarterly growth in the early 1990s.
Weak retail sales have shown that increasing factory output is the easy part, said Stephen Innes of AxiCorp.
“No matter what stimulus and fiscal sugar you try to entice consumers with, they won’t leave their apartments and splurge until they’re convinced the landscape is virus-free,” he said in a report.
Tokyo Nikkei 225 NIK,
lost 0.7%, while the Hang Seng HSI,
in Hong Kong fell 1.6%. In South Korea, the Kospi 180721,
Sensex 1 from India
was the outlier, gaining 0.5%. Shares fell in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.
In Australia, the S & P / ASX 200 XJO,
fell 0.6% as authorities reported that the state of Victoria confirmed a record 317 new cases of coronavirus in one day.
The Victoria government has responded by reducing the number of non-emergency surgeries allowed in hospitals to increase beds available for COVID-19 patients, Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said.
Shares advanced around the world on Wednesday after researchers announced on Tuesday that the one developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna MRNA,
had boosted people’s immune systems in the first tests, as hoped.
Overnight, the S&P 500 SPX,
rose 0.9% to 3,226.56, approaching 4.7% of its all-time high set in February. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
also climbed 0.9%, to 26,870.10, and the Nasdaq COMP composite,
gained 0.6% to 10,550.49.
With vaccine hopes at the center of the rise, the market ranking was dominated by those companies that would benefit the most from a return to normal life. They included cruise ship operators, airlines, retailers and hotel chains.
Small business stocks also jumped much more than the rest of the market, indicating rising expectations for the economy. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks jumped 3.5%, a turnaround from previous months when large tech-focused companies carried the market.
The winners of the home economy created by quarantines and lockdowns, meanwhile, were lagging behind. Clorox, Netflix, and Amazon have all fallen.
The growing number of infections and deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic remains a constant source of uncertainty.
Concerns also remain high that the stock market has gone too far in its rally: it took less than four months for the S&P 500 to almost return to its all-time high after losing nearly 34%. But it could take years for the economy and corporate profits to return to where they were before the pandemic.
A troubling string of news, from the more than 13.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 to escalating friction between Washington and Beijing, looms in markets but has been met by the massive amounts of stimulus being poured into the markets. financial systems by central banks to counter the pandemic slowdown.
“In most other realities, that would be ironic or absurd. But in the liquidity-awashed post-COVID global markets, it’s Thursday, ”Mizuho Bank’s Riki Ogawa said in a comment.
The 10-year Treasury yield slipped to 0.62% from 0.63% on Wednesday night. It tends to change with investors’ expectations regarding the economy and inflation.
In other exchanges, US benchmark crude oil: CLQ20
lost 45 cents to $ 40.75 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 91 cents to settle at $ 41.20 a barrel on Wednesday.
The dollar USDJPY,
bought 106.95 against the Japanese yen, down from 106.96 yen on Wednesday night.