Asian Shares Mixed In Cautious Trading

Asian stocks turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday as caution prevailed amid a persisted surge in coronavirus cases in several parts of the world and ahead of crucial Senate election runoffs in Georgia that will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 25.72 points, or 0.7 percent, to 3,528.68 after the New York Stock Exchange scrapped its decision to delist three big Chinese telecommunication companies. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index ended up 0.6 percent at 27,649.86.

Japanese shares ended modestly lower and the yen strengthened amid reports the government will declare a state of emergency that would take effect by Friday and last about a month.

The Nikkei 225 Index slid 99.75 points, or 0.4 percent, to 27,158.63, while the broader Topix ended down 0.2 percent at 1,791.22.

Airlines and train operators were among the worst hit amid the prospects of fresh curbs to contain the health crisis. Tech shares outperformed, with Advantest surging 4.8 percent and Tokyo Electron adding 2.6 percent.

Australian markets ended on a flat note amid renewed concerns over the Sydney cluster. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index finished marginally lower, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended with a slightly positive bias.

A drop in oil prices weighed on energy stocks, with Woodside Petroleum, Santos, Oil Search and Beach Energy losing 1-3 percent.

The big four banks fell between 0.3 percent and 1 percent, while mining heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto surged 2-3 percent on the back of soaring iron ore prices.

Gold producer Ramelius Resources jumped after providing a pre-quarterly update. Airline Qantas Airways declined 1.4 percent after announcing it has commenced the sale of seats on international flights across its network.

Seoul stocks hit another record high amid an upbeat outlook for the chip industry and hopes of economic recovery. The benchmark Kospi jumped 46.12 points, or 1.6 percent, to finish just short of the 3,000-point milestone.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 1.1 percent to reach a fresh record high, while No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix advanced 3.6 percent.

New Zealand shares rallied as traders returned to their desks after a long holiday weekend. The benchmark NZX-50 Index surged 276.01 points, or 2.1 percent, to 13,367.65, led by gains by consumer and utility stocks.

U.S. stocks fell sharply overnight amid surging Covid-19 cases and uncertainty ahead of two key Senate runoffs in Georgia on Tuesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.3 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 ended down around 1.5 percent.

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