Asia Pacific stocks were mixed on Wednesday as concerns over the coronavirus pandemic persisted.
Mainland China stocks built on the solid run they had so far this week as they led earnings in the region for another day. The Shanghai Composite closed 1.74% higher at around 3,403.44, while the Shenzhen Component rose 1.841% to end its trading day at around 13,406.37. The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index was also up 0.42% at the time of its last hour of trading.
Mainland Chinese stocks have risen sharply so far this week. The Shanghai Composite rose nearly 6% on Monday. This happened after the state-owned China Securities Journal said investors should look forward to the “asset effect of the capital markets”
“There have been many positive surprises in the market that continue to fuel market sentiment,” Frank Tsui, senior fund manager at Value Partners, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Wednesday. “In the short term, I think the positive mood will continue to impact market performance.”
Nonetheless, Tsui said investors should be “more cautious” and wonder whether the price performance of the stock price depends on fundamental factors or solely on sentiment.
However, losses were recorded in other major markets in the region that day.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.78% to close at 22,438.65, while the Topix index fell 0.92% to 1,557.23. In South Korea, the kospi closed its trading day 0.24% lower at 2,158.88.
Meanwhile, the S & P / ASX 200 in Australia fell 1.54% to close at 5,920.30.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index rose 0.49%.
A World Health Organization official said Tuesday that it shouldn’t be a “surprise” if coronavirus deaths increase again. The reported Covid-19 cases accelerated worldwide in June while the death toll fell. WHO officials warn that there is a delay between increasing cases and increasing deaths. It takes weeks after being infected with the virus to become seriously ill and possibly die of the corona virus.
Cases have recently increased in the United States, and Texas reported more than 10,000 additional Covid-19 cases on Tuesday – a record-breaking daily increase.
In the Asia-Pacific region, a recent surge in cases in parts of Australia has caused officials in the state of Victoria to place restrictions on home stays in areas such as the Melbourne metropolis for six weeks.
Bank Julius Baer’s Mark Matthews told CNBC on Wednesday that there was no way they could positively evaluate the blockade in the Australian state of Victoria.
“All of Australian history has been essentially a cyclical recovery story in the second half, and … the domestic side of it is now compromised,” said Matthews, director of research for Asia at the company.
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of its competitors, was at 96,874 after seeing an earlier high of 97,045.
The Japanese yen was trading at $ 107.44 yesterday after hovering below 107.4 and above 107.7 levels against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.6945 after hitting $ 0.693 yesterday.
Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with the international benchmark Brent crude futures falling 0.21% to $ 42.99 a barrel. US crude oil futures also fell 0.25% to $ 40.52 a barrel.
– CNBC’s Noah Higgins-Dunn contributed to this report.