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Asian Stocks Fall as traders consider the economic danger

Asian stocks fell on Friday following their U.S. peers as traders considered the economic danger of the virus. They doubted optimism about the effectiveness of vaccines.

Equity markets dropped in Asia while U.S. futures seemed little changed. Treasuries remained steady, with Thursday’s lackluster sale of bonds paring gains. Oil traded below $70 per barrel while Bitcoin bounded higher. The dollar maintained overnight gains.

Chinese markets remain in investors’ focus after China Kaisa Group Holdings and Evergrande Group defaulted on their dollar debt. Evergrande shares dropped about 2.1%, while Kaisa’s shares traded in Hong Kong stayed suspended.

China’s central bank decided to take additional steps to limit the yuan’s strength. It aims to set the weakest connection rate relative to Bloomberg’s estimations compiled since 2018. The yuan ignored the moves to progress further.

Investors are considering the cost of containing the new Omicron variant while concerning that it might fold the economic rebound. A study has discovered that the new Omicron strain seems 4.3 times more transmissible than the previously uncovered Delta variant.

A team of Deutsche Bank strategists said that even if the issue from a health perspective seems that Omicron is less severe, high transmissibility could still neutralize that. They explained that more people are in the hospital in this case, even if a few of them are severely infected.

Stocks

S&P 500 futures stood steady. The index dropped 0.8% Thursday.
Nasdaq 100 futures remained flat. The benchmark dropped 1.6% Thursday.
Topix dropped 0.9%.
Hang Seng fell 0.8%.
Shanghai Composite decreased 0.4%.
The S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.5%.
Kospi fell 0.7%.
Euro Stoxx 50 futures dropped 0.6%.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index stood flat.
The euro seemed little changed at $1.1297.
The Japanese yen stood flat at 113.51 per dollar.
The offshore yuan remained at 6.3682.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries stood steady at 1.51%.
The yield on Australia’s 10-year bonds fell to 1.64%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 0.5% to $70.68 a barrel.
Gold dropped 0.2% to $1,774.02 an ounce.

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