Asia Pacific shares barely increased; Trump calls the US help bundle Covid-19 unsuitable

SINGAPORE – Asia-Pacific stocks were slightly higher on Wednesday morning after US President Donald Trump made new remarks on the new Covid-19 aid package.

Mainland China stocks were higher in early trading, with the Shanghai Composite gaining 0.3% while the Shenzhen component gaining 0.33%. The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong was slightly above the flatline.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose slightly while the Topix index rose 0.13%. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.23%.

Australian stocks rose and the S & P / ASX 200 rose 0.63%.

MSCI’s broadest index for stocks in the Asia-Pacific region outside of Japan rose 0.29%.

Trump said on Tuesday that the US Congress passed the US $ 900 billion Covid Aid Act was an unsuitable “shame”.

Although the US president had not threatened to veto the legislation, he asked for a “suitable bill, otherwise the next government will have to deliver a Covid aid package”. The latest development could delay the delivery of funds to Americans suffering from the coronavirus pandemic.

A new variety of Covid in the UK has also weighed on investor sentiment worldwide in recent days. It comes at a time when vaccines are beginning to be adopted and daily coronavirus infections are on the rise again in major economies around the world.

In the Bank of Japan’s October monetary policy meeting minutes released on Wednesday, a member expressed concern that “deflation could occur” if Covid-19 re-spreads and depresses economic activity, so it “may attract attention” in governance monetary policy earned.

On Wall Street overnight, the S&P 500 fell for the third straight year as it fell 0.2% to 3,687.26. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 200.94 points to close at 30,015.51. The Nasdaq Composite outperformed as it rose 0.5% to close at 12,807.92, a new record.

Currencies and oil

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of its peers, was last at 90.549 after previously rebounding from levels below 90.4.

The Japanese yen was trading at 103.55 per dollar, still stronger than last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.754 in a week of trading when it was trading at $ 0.76 to below $ 0.75.

Oil prices fell on the morning of trading hours in Asia, with the international benchmark Brent crude oil futures falling 1.5% to $ 49.33 a barrel. US crude oil futures also fell 1.55% to $ 46.29 a barrel.

– CNBC’s Mike Calia and Maggie Fitzgerald contributed to this report.

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