AP and AFP, SINGAPORE and TOKYO
Asian stock markets fell on Friday as concerns over the spread of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 once again took center stage.
TAIEX fell 0.2% to 16,341.94 points, down 3.77% for the week.
The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index fell 0.96% to 190.97 on Friday, down 4.4% from last week.
The Tokyo Nikkei 225 benchmark lost 1% on Friday to 27,013.25, down 3.5% weekly, and Seoul’s KOSPI fell 1.2% to 3,060.51, which also fell. 3.5% for the week.
The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong slipped 1.84% to 24,849.72 in afternoon trading on Friday, taking its weekly loss to 5.8%.
The Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.1% to 3,427.33, down 2.5% per week.
The Australian S & P / ASX 200 fell less than 0.1% to 7,460.90, down 2.2% for the week.
The benchmarks in Singapore and Indonesia rose, while those of India and New Zealand declined.
Traders are watching the rise in infections around the world, including New Zealand, which is in quarantine after reporting its first outbreak in six months.
“With the increase in the number of COVID-19 infections, especially in the United States, the threat of the Delta variant is becoming more apparent, which stimulates a sense of cautious risk,” said Venkateswaran Lavanya of Mizuho Bank Ltd .
“The Tokyo market saw a rocking movement as investors searched for new clues, but stocks then fell,” Okasan Online Securities said. “There is uncertainty about the economic outlook, and traders are refraining from buying stocks.”
Japan has reported record new cases of COVID-19 in recent days and the government has extended and prolonged states of emergency for the virus, which largely limit alcohol sales, as well as bar opening hours and restaurants.
Japan’s consumer price index which excludes fresh food last month fell 0.2% annually, the 12th consecutive monthly decline.
The inflation data did not elicit a strong market reaction.
In Tokyo trade, Toyota Motor Corp fell 4.08% after the company said on Thursday it would cut global auto production by 40% next month as the spread of COVID-19 in Southeast Asia. East is compressing its supply chain.
Toyota’s rival Honda Motor Co fell 4.84% and Nissan Motor Co fell 7.24%.
Uniqlo casual clothing operator Fast Retailing Co lost 1.62%, while Softbank Group Corp lost 3.60%.
Additional reports by staff writer
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