Asian markets mixed amid bleak earnings and pandemic worries

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Asian stocks were mixed on Wednesday as reports of dismal company profits add to pessimism about the widespread economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index fell 1% after Fitch Ratings lowered its outlook for Japan from “negative” to “stable”.

“The coronavirus pandemic has caused a sharp economic contraction in Japan, despite the country’s rapid success in containing the virus,” Fitch said when announcing his decision.
Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co. 7201,
-9,83%
reported a loss for the first quarter of the year and is expected to remain in the red for the second year in a row. Other large Japanese companies such as Canon 7751 camera company,
-13,31%
and robot manufacturer 6954,
-7,97%
I have also reported poor results. Overnight earnings reports also discouraged investors, pushing down stocks on Wall Street. Market participants are awaiting the results of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting that began on Tuesday. GCQ20 Gold Price,
+ 0,15%
moderated their sharp rise, adding 0.3% to $ 1,949.70 at noon Asian time.
Le Nikkei 225 NIK,
-1,21%
dropped 1%, while Kospi 180721 from South Korea,
-0,06%
added 0.1%. Australian S & P / ASX 200 XJO,
-0,14%
was flat. Hang Seng HSI from Hong Kong,
+ 0,11%
was up 0.1%, while the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP,
+ 1,04%
jumped 1%.
Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore, said market players were also monitoring Hong Kong economic growth data in the second quarter.
The Federal Reserve began a two-day interest rate meeting on Tuesday, with an announcement scheduled for Wednesday. Investors widely expect the central bank to keep short-term rates at their all-time high, near zero, but they are also looking to hear what it says over the length of their stay.
The Fed helped kick-start the stock market recovery in late March after cutting interest rates and promising to buy treasury bills, corporate bonds and other debt securities to support the economy. On Tuesday, the Fed said it would extend the lifespan of seven of the loan programs by three months until the end of the year, in recognition of the severity of the recession.
Still, sentiment on Wall Street was weak.
Le S&P 500 SPX,
-0,64%
fell 0.6% to 3,218.44 after a last-hour slide erased a small gain from earlier in the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
-0,77%
fell 0.8%, to 26,379.28, and the Nasdaq Composite COMP,
-1,27%
lost 1.3% to 10,402.09.
This week marks the heart of the earnings season for the S&P 500, and several large companies have delivered results that have not met analysts’ already lowered expectations as the pandemic has robbed customers and raised some costs.
3M MMM,
-4,84%
, maker of N95 masks and various other products for consumers and businesses, fell 4.8% after reporting a profit for the last quarter that fell short of analysts’ expectations. McDonald’s MCD,
-2,48%
fell 2.5% after its spring profits plunged more than two-thirds from a year earlier.
The losses of big tech stocks also helped push the market down. Amazon AMZN CEOs,
-1,79%
, Apple AAPL,
-1,64%
, Facebook FB,
-1,44%
and Google’s GOOGL,
-1,68%
The parent company is set to testify Wednesday before a House of Representatives committee investigating Big Tech’s market dominance.
Pfizer PFE,
+ 3,94%
climbed 3.9% after reporting a profit for the last quarter that exceeded expectations, even though it was down almost a third from a year earlier. It also increased its profit forecast for the full year after announcing the start of an advanced stage trial of an investigational COVID-19 vaccine that it is developing with its German partner BioNTech.
Rising coronavirus numbers in many states are causing a new wave of closures, and investors are hoping Democrats and Republicans can strike a deal on more help for the roughly 16 million Americans who receive unemployment benefits , even if the two parties always seem to be far from each other.
US benchmark crude oil CL00,
-0,24%
Electronic trading slowed slightly to $ 40.95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 56 cents to $ 41.04 a barrel on Tuesday. Brent BRN00,
-0,06%
the international standard, gained 3 cents to $ 43.64 a barrel.
The US dollar USDJPY,
-0,01%
slipped to 105.04 Japanese yen from 105.07 yen on Tuesday. The euro EURUSD,
+ 0,11%
cost $ 1.1728, up slightly from $ 1.1718.

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