Asian markets fall due to growth, viruses worry

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Asian markets edged down on Friday as concerns over economic growth and COVID-19 outbreaks weighed on sentiment and risk aversion established following dovish comments by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

Powell reiterated the central bank’s plan to maintain stimulus initiatives until the economy fully recovered, while U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said inflation would remain high for months to come.

“I think we’ll have several more months of rapid inflation yet, so I’m not saying this is a one-month phenomenon,” Yellen said in an interview on CNBC after markets closed. Americans.

However, she predicted that price increases would reach “normal levels” in the medium term.

“US stocks fell after a second day of conciliatory testimony from Fed Chairman Powell provided new catalysts for buying risky assets,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda Corp. “Risk aversion is firmly in place, perhaps because the profit bar may have been set too high for banks and because reopening trade cannot pick up its pace.”

“It didn’t help that China’s overnight economic growth fell below expectations,” Moya added.

Asian markets were mostly down, with Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 closing 0.98% at 28,003.08 as investors cautious of expanding COVID-19 infections and the Bank of Japan slashing its GDP growth forecast for this fiscal year.

However, the index was up 0.22% from the previous week.

The wider TOPIX fell 0.38% to 1,932.19 and posted a weekly gain of 1.04%.

“Investors are worried about a spike in Tokyo infection cases ahead of the Olympics,” Okasan Securities Co Ltd broker Shinichi Yamamoto said.

In Taiwan, TAIEX closed 138.94 points, or 0.77%, lower at 17,895.25 on revenue of NT $ 572.705 billion (US $ 20.45 billion). It was up 1.32% from the previous week.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng closed 0.03% higher at 28,004.68, with a weekly increase of 2.41%, as late profit-taking erased earlier gains ahead of a US President’s notice Joe Biden expected later Friday warning companies against doing business in the territory as Beijing tightens its grip on him.

“The situation in Hong Kong is deteriorating and the Chinese government is failing to keep its commitment to do the way it would deal with Hong Kong,” Biden said Thursday at a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, reporting no improvement imminent in the United States. -Relations with China.

The Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.71% at 3,539.30, but was up 0.43% week over week.

In Seoul, KOSPI lost 0.28% to 3,276.91, rising 1.83% for the week, while Sydney’s S & P / ASX 200 reversed the trend, rising 0.17% to 7,348 , 1 and posting a weekly increase of 1.03%.

Additional reports by the editor, with CNA

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