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Tokyo Stock Exchange. Image by Dick Thomas Johnson.

Asian, European Stocks Sink As Virus, Stimulus Sour Mood

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Key Points

  • Concerns about the reimposition of virus lockdowns, stalled vaccine trials, and dimming hopes of new US stimulus any time soon weighed on Asian and European markets Thursday.
  • Regional investors tracked another sell-off in New York, where all three main indexes turned negative after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned that while talks continued, Republicans and Democrats were still “far apart” on a rescue package.
  • Tokyo suffered steep losses, while Mumbai, Taipei, Manila, and Wellington were also in the red. Singapore and Hong Kong were both well down, with little reaction from the news that the two cities’ governments were pushing ahead with plans to open a travel bubble in a first for Asia.
  • Visit The Financial Today’s homepage for more stories.

HONG KONG — Concerns about the reimposition of virus lockdowns, stalled vaccine trials, and dimming hopes of new US stimulus any time soon weighed on Asian and European markets Thursday.

Regional investors tracked another sell-off in New York, where all three main indexes turned negative after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned that while talks continued, Republicans and Democrats were still “far apart” on a rescue package.

While the broad view is that a new spending package will get passed eventually, the comments reinforced expectations that there will be nothing before next month’s presidential and congressional elections.

“This has been an ongoing drama,” Paul Nolte, at Kingsview Investment Management, said. “The latest twist I heard is nothing is going to get done until the election. That’s why I think you’re getting the market selling off a little bit.”

However, analysts said traders were taking comfort from the possibility that Joe Biden and the Democrats will win the White House and both houses of Congress, paving the way for a bigger stimulus than anything that could be agreed before the vote.

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