Picture used for illustrative purpose. File
Asian markets mostly fell Monday with sentiment depressed by a spike in coronavirus infections that has forced fresh lockdowns and sparked worries about the impact on the world economy.
Japan's Nikkei 225 rose more than two percent as investors picked up cheap stocks following a steep drop last week, while there was also some cheer in data showing the country's economy contracted less than first thought in January-March.
Shanghai put on 1.8 percent following a forecast-beating reading on factory activity from Caixin, days after a strong official report showed improvement in the manufacturing sector. Seoul edged up slightly.
A lack of substantial progress by US lawmakers on a new stimulus package is also frustrating traders, while China-US tensions continued as the White House considers measures against Chinese tech firms, citing national security.
With the disease showing no sign of easing globally -- total cases topped 18 million Monday -- governments are moving to reimpose containment measures.
Australia's Victoria state imposed fresh, sweeping restrictions Sunday, including a curfew in Melbourne for the next six weeks, a ban on wedding gatherings, and an order that schools and universities go back online in the coming days.
Britain introduced new measures in several northern counties at the end of last week, while there are reports the government is considering fresh moves to avert another economically painful national lockdown, including sealing off London.
The new wave of infections has fanned fears that a nascent economic recovery will be knocked off track.
"COVID-19 either remains rampant or is making worrying localised comebacks across the world," said Jeffrey Halley at OANDA.
"Although not priced into financial markets yet, it remains the critical risk factor to global recovery. Particularly if key economies that had previously controlled COVID-19 are forced back into large scale lockdowns again."
Markets rose last week after unexpectedly strong U.S. jobs data despite some American states reporting record new coronavirus infections.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.3% and further away from a four-month top hit last week. Japan's Nikkei shed 2.2% and Chinese blue chips 0.9%.
All major Asian indexes were upbeat with Japan's Nikkei rising 0.1%, China's blue-chip index adding 1.7% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index climbed 1.8%.
Asian shares posted gains on Monday and the euro rose to four-month highs, as EU leaders appeared to make some headway after three days of haggling on a plan to revive their economies, even as coronavirus cases increased in many countries.
G7 finance ministers on Friday backed an extension of a G20 bilateral debt relief initiative for the world’s poorest countries, but said it must be revised to address shortcomings hindering its implementation.
New orders for key US-made capital goods increased more than expected in August and shipments raced to their highest level in nearly six years, suggesting a rebound in business spending on equipment was underway after a prolonged slump.
Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (Dafza), announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Federation Israeli Chambers of Commerce (FICC), to define frameworks
The 10-year swap rate on the Dirham has steadied at 1.6 per cent by the end of H1-2020, only rising to 1.9 per cent during the first week of June before falling against to 1.6 per cent by the end of the month, according to the figures of the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates.