Asia-Pacific shares declined on July 20 following an overnight tumble for stocks on Wall Street. Remarkably, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by more than 700 points on Wall Street.
Signs of rising inflationary pressures and the increase in the spread of the delta variant of coronavirus in many countries raised concerns that the pace of global economic recovery might slow down significantly. Besides, Asian stocks ended mostly lower in the previous session.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 declined by 0.96%, which equals 264.58, to close at 27,388.16. An index is down more than 10% from its February peak as of today’s close. Furthermore, the Topix index dropped 0.96% to end the trading day at 1,888.89. South Korea’s Kospi fell by 0.35% or 230.53 to close at 3,232.70.
Mainland Chinese stocks closed mixed. The Shanghai Composite dipped to 3,536.79, whereas the Shenzhen component surged by 0.123% to 15,011.35. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index tumbled nearly 0.7%.
The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia sank by 0.46%, or 33.8, to close at 7,252.20. Victoria has posted 13 new local cases of COVID-19, with the total active cases reaching 96 and the fifth lockdown extended for a further seven days. Meanwhile, New South Wales announced 78 new local infections, and South Australia starts a one-week lockdown after reporting five cases. Schools, retail, and construction will pause.
Markets in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, were closed for holidays
On July 20, China kept intact its benchmark lending rate for corporate and household loans. Remarkably, the one-year Loan Prime Rate (LPR) held steady at 3.85%, while the five-year LPR was also left at 4.65%. According to Reuters, the majority of traders and analysts in a snap poll anticipated no change to both the one-year or five-year LPR.
Additionally, markets in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, were closed on July 20 for holidays.
The world’s largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, also witnessed a decline amid the market turmoil. The cryptocurrency dipped below $30,000 for the first time in around a month. At the time of writing, BTC is trading at $29,529.00. The second-largest cryptocurrency, Ethereum, also fell. It is trading at $1,742.39.
Significantly, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell 725.81 points to 33,962.04. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 slid 1.59% to 4,258.49. The Nasdaq Composite dropped by 1.06% to close at 14,274.98.
Analysts say that the declines on Wall Street came as concerns booster over the potential impact of a coronavirus resurgence of the global recovery. As we know, several countries in Southeast Asia have been battling a resurgence in infections. Moreover, Goldman Sachs recently cut its 2021 growth forecasts for most of the region.