Asia markets: SMIC shares, coronavirus, currencies

SINGAPORE — Shares in Japan were set to decline at the open following an overnight drop on Wall Street as fears surrounding the coronavirus pandemic lingered.

Futures pointed to a lower open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 27,150 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 27,100. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 27,258.38.

Shares in Australia dipped, with the S&P/ASX 200 down 0.4%.

Shares of Chinese chipmaker SMIC will be watched on Tuesday after the company was among firms set to be deleted from FTSE Russell’s global equity indexes. That comes following an executive order by U.S. President Donald Trump barring U.S. investments in some Chinese firms.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 382.59 points lower at 30,223.89. The S&P 500 slipped 1.5% on the day to 3,700.65. The Nasdaq Composite also slid 1.5%, ending its trading at 12,698.45. Monday marked the first negative start to a year for the Dow since 2016.

Developments surrounding the coronavirus pandemic are likely to continue weighing on investor sentiment on Tuesday. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced a national lockdown on England as it seeks to combat the new Covid variant.

In Asia, local media reports in Japan have said that the government is considering declaring a state of emergency for Tokyo and several neighboring areas as early as Thursday in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus.


The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 89.907 after a recent bounce from levels below 89.7.

The Japanese yen traded at 103.11 per dollar after weakening from levels below 102.8 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7666 following a recent decline from levels above $0.77.

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