Asian stocks are mostly lower on Friday as the prospects for the global economy to recover from the coronavirus pandemic are uncertain. Asian stocks fell mostly lower on Friday as the prospects for the global economy to recover from the coronavirus pandemic were uncertain.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.5% in morning trading to 28,900.98. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.7% to 3,150.48. The Australian S & P / ASX 200 fell 0.6% to 7,042.60. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.4% to 28,883.41 while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.6% to 3,454.76. The regional market slumps came despite reports of strong economic growth in South Korea and a slowdown in the unemployment rate in Japan despite a recurrence of the pandemic.
The recent large outbreaks and slow advances in vaccinations have added to pandemic concerns in Asia, although some countries such as Taiwan, South Korea and China are doing relatively well on COVID-19-related diseases and deaths.
The decline in the 19 countries that use the euro currency is akin to a robust recovery in the US. The second quarter in a row with falling production after a decline in the fourth quarter of 2021 confirms the recession of the European double pandemic. Two quarters of falling production is a definition of a recession. A monthly purchasing managers index published by business magazine Caixin rose on a 100-point scale from the 11-month low in March of 50.6 on a 100-point scale, where numbers above 50 indicate an increase in activity, to 51, 9.
A separate poll released by China’s statistics bureau and an industry group fell 0.8 points to 51.1 but was still above the 50 point mark and showed that activity was picking up. A production sub-index fell by 1.7 points to 52.2. This suggests that “growth momentum will wear off this year,” Capital Economics’ Julians Evans-Pritchard said in a report.
Chinese manufacturing and consumer spending have rebounded from pre-pandemic levels, but the recovery is slowing. Economic growth in the first three months of 2021 slowed compared to the previous quarter to 0.6%.
Auto companies fell sharply after Ford warned that a worsening global shortage of computer chips could cut production in half this quarter. Ford fell 9.4% and General Motors fell 3.4%. Ride-sharing and delivery service companies also fell after Labor Secretary Marty Walsh wanted gig workers to be classified as white-collar workers. DoorDash was down 7.6%, Uber was down 6%, and Lyft was down 9.9%.
In economic terms, the Commerce Department said the US economy grew at a brisk 6.4% a year in the most recent quarter. This acceleration is expected to accelerate over the summer as more vaccinations are given and COVID-19 cases continue to decline. Meanwhile, the Department of Labor said the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell again last week.
In energy trading, the US crude oil price fell 37 cents to $ 64.64 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Thursday it rose by $ 1.15 to $ 65.01 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 31 cents to $ 68.25 a barrel. In forex trading, the US dollar fell from 108.93 yen to 108.76 Japanese yen. The euro fell to $ 1.2118, which barely changed from $ 1.2122.