Asian markets fall as investors focus on new coronavirus outbreaks

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BANGKOK (AP) – Shares fell in Asia on Tuesday as concerns over further outbreaks of coronavirus cases overshadowed hopes of reopening economies.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.1% while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 1.7%. The lackluster start follows a mixed session on Wall Street, where gains for tech and health care stocks helped offset more frequent losses elsewhere.

Optimism about plans to reopen in many countries after pandemic closures have taken a few hits from reports of new waves of infections in states and countries that are more advanced in lifting the lockdown measures . Investors have reported a small but baffling increase in infections in South Korea, China and elsewhere.
President Donald Trump insisted on Monday that his administration “met the moment” and “prevailed” on coronavirus tests, even though the White House has ordered everyone entering the west wing to the With the exception of Trump, to wear a mask after two aids tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

Vice President Mike Pence and three of the country’s top medical experts were in segregation as a precaution on Monday.
“All in all, risk appetite is declining today. And that only acknowledges that reopening economies is rife with risks; fighting between the devil and the deep blue sea, “said Hayaki Narita of Mizuho Bank in a comment.
China says auto sales fell again in April but losses have declined, signaling the industry’s largest global market is recovering from the coronavirus pandemic as Beijing eases anti-virus controls diseases. Sales of SUVs, sedans and minivans in the industry’s largest market worldwide fell 2.6% from a year earlier to 1.5 million, said the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, an improvement from the 48.4% contraction in March and a drop of almost 82% in February.
The industry group said the market is showing “obvious signs of recovery”.
But the news and reports of stronger loan growth did not add to the sentiment. The Shanghai Composite Index
SHCOMP,
-0.31%

fell 0.6% to 2,877.71. Hong Kong benchmark lost 438.77
HSI,
-1.66%

points to 24,163.29 while the Nikkei 225
NIK,
-0.11%

dropped 28.64 points to 20,362.12.
Kospi in South Korea
180721,
-0.50%

lost 1.1% to 1,914.49 and the S & P / ASX 200
XJO,
-1.06%

fell 1.3% to 5,388.20. Equities also fell in Taiwan, Singapore and Jakarta, while Bangkok rose slightly.
S&P 500
ES00,
-0.75%

futures fell 0.9% while those of Dow industrials
YM00,
-0.77%

also fell 0.9%.
An increase in cases in South Korea has added concern about the potential for a rebound in new coronavirus infections in places that ease restrictions. Over 100 new cases have been reported linked to bars and clubs, including 64 in the capital Seoul.
China only reported one new case on Tuesday, but it followed double-digit increases in the previous two days that triggered renewed warnings to the public not to become overconfident.
New data released this week includes jobless claims and US retail sales and Australian jobs. So far, successive economic indicators have been woefully bad.
Many companies are releasing their first quarter results, often opting to give no financial forecast due to overwhelming uncertainty about what lies ahead.
Overnight, the S&P 500
SPX,
+ 0.01%

closed the day in virtual neutral, up only 0.52 points to 2,930.32, after losing 0.9% this morning. Dow Jones industrial average
DJIA,
-0.44%

fell 0.4% to 24,221.99, while the Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
+ 0.77%

0.8%, at 9,192.34.
Technology and health care stocks dominated the gains. Tech companies in the S&P 500 are up 4.1% for 2020 as investors look for companies that can win in an economy that is both “normal” and at home.
“People look to the future and say, ‘Okay, the pandemic has happened, and the damage has swept through our economy and our businesses, and now we anticipate growth after the carnage, so we value stocks as if we were to return to a decent growth environment, ”said Mike Zigmont, head of trading and research at Harvest Volatility Management. “I don’t know why investors feel so comfortable with these expectations. “
10-year Treasury yield
TMUBMUSD10Y,
0.705%

rose to 0.69% from 0.70% on Monday evening.
Reference American crude oil
CL.1,
+ 1.65%

soared 18 cents to $ 24.32 a barrel in ecommerce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 60 cents, or 2.4%, to $ 24.14 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude oil
BRNN20,
+ 0.81%

, the international standard, added 5 cents to $ 29.68 a barrel. It lost $ 1.34, or 4.3%, to $ 29.60 a barrel in London.
The dollar
USDJPY,
-0.15%

recovered 107.39 Japanese yen, down from 107.66 Monday evening. The euro
EURUSD,
+ 0.05%

weakened to $ 1.0805 from $ 1.0807.
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AP business writers Alex Veiga, Stan Choe and Joe McDonald contributed.

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