The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong was one of the biggest losers among the region’s major markets, as it fell around 2% from its last hour of trading.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index slipped 2.04% to close at 28,405.52 while the Topix index fell 2.18% to end its trading day at 1,928.58.
Mainland China stocks also fell on that day, with the Shanghai composite down 1.3% to 3,367.06 while the Shenzhen component was down 1.469% to 13,407.35.
In South Korea, the Kospi slipped 0.28% to end its trading day at 2,996.35.
Australian stocks held up to the overall trend regionally, with the S & P / ASX 200 gaining 0.5% to close at 6,778.80.
The largest MSCI index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan slipped 1.21%.
Many parts of the world are seeing an increase in new cases of Covid-19 as highly contagious variants continue to spread, the World Health Organization said earlier this week. In Europe, authorities continue to fight the virus as the region battles a third wave of Covid.
Stocks in motion
Shares of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group in Hong Kong plunged more than 4%. These measures came after Hong Kong and Macao announced the suspension of BioNTech Covid vaccinations. Fosun Pharma is BioNTech’s partner in the development and distribution of the Comirnaty Covid-19 vaccine in greater China.
In Taiwan, shares of chipmaking company Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company fell 3.03%. It came after Intel announced it would spend $ 20 billion to build two new chip factories in Arizona.
Meanwhile, Chinese streaming company Bilibili said on Tuesday it would raise HK $ 20.2 billion (roughly $ 2.6 billion) in its next secondary listing in Hong Kong after valuing its shares at 808. Hong Kong dollars each. Bilibili shares are expected to start trading in Hong Kong on Monday.
Currencies and oil
The Japanese yen traded at 108.58 to the dollar, down from levels around 108.9 against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7598 after falling more than $ 0.768 yesterday.
Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of trading hours in Asia, with international benchmark Brent futures rising 1.04% to $ 61.42 a barrel. US crude futures were up 0.93% to $ 58.30 per barrel.