Asian shares decline on surging COVID-19 cases
Asian share markets recorded a subdued session on Friday. This followed after surging coronavirus cases triggered a series of selloffs in the United States and Europe, with investors fearing that the virus might bring in more economic ramification.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was dragged by weak shares across the region, tallying a 0.25% drop during its early session. Meanwhile, Chinese blue chips came as the biggest decliner with a 1.21% decrease.
Australian shares shed 0.47% as South Korean shares dropped 0.16%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index plunged 0.55%, while Japan’s benchmark index Nikkei saw a 0.95% drop.
The United States had seen an increase in coronavirus hospitalizations this week, prompting cities and states to re-implement virus-related restrictions. Meanwhile, European officials warned that despite the recent breakthrough in Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine development, health measures still need to be practiced.