By Gina Lee
Investing.com – Asian stock markets were mostly down on Friday, with investor hopes of a quick economic recovery dashed after the U.S. reported a record number of cases.
With states such as Florida, California and Texas reporting record numbers, over 60,000 new cases were reported in the country on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong re-imposed tightened social distancing measures on Thursday to curb a new outbreak of cases in the city. Other cities currently under a second lockdown include Melbourne and Beijing.
“Coronavirus anxiety dominated market sentiment in a day where major economic releases were scarce... That left the focus on the high frequency data and daily COVID-19 news,” Kishti Sen, an economist at ANZ Research, said in a note.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.36% by 11:12 PM ET (4:12 AM GMT) and South Korea’s KOSPI was down 0.66%. Seoul’s mayor Won Soon Park was found dead in a suspected suicide after his daughter reported him missing on Thursday.
Down Under, the ASX 200 was down 0.14%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 1.01%. China’s Shanghai Composite was down 0.84% while the Shenzhen Component was down 1.01%, with China’s markets putting an end to an almost three-week rally.
Capital Economics economist Oliver Jones told Reuters that the rise in China’s mainland equities bore similarities to the 2015 bubble, but on a smaller scale and with room for prices to inflate.
“That said, another boom-bust cycle in China’s equities could have even greater knock-on effects for markets elsewhere than before, with foreign holdings far higher now than five years ago,” he added.