Asian, U.S. Shares Up, COVID-19 Concerns Start to Ease By

© Reuters.

By Gina Lee – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly up on Wednesday morning, with U.S. counterparts recording their biggest advance since March 2021. Brightening investor sentiment, as concerns about rising numbers of global COVID-19 cases involving the Delta variant were somewhat eased, gave global shares a boost.

Japan’s was up 0.51% by 10:42 PM ET (2:42 AM GMT). released earlier in the day was better than expected, with growing 48.6% year-on-year, a fourth consecutive month of double-digit gains and growing 32.7% year-on-year in June.

The also released the minutes from its latest policy meeting.

South Korea’s was down 0.33%. The country’s producer price index rose a lower-than-expected 0.4% and 6.4% in June.

In Australia, the rose 0.97%, with the latest figures released earlier in the day.

Hong Kong’s fell 0.63%.

China’s was up 0.48% and the jumped 1.02%.

A rally in U.S. Treasuries pressed the pause button to send benchmark 10-year yields back above the 1.2% mark.

Rising COVID-19 case numbers, and the resultant restrictive measures implemented by some countries, sent global shares on a downward trend earlier in the week over concerns about the economic impact. However, loose U.S. monetary policy, still-high levels of economic expansion and robust corporate earnings brightened investor sentiment and led retail investors to buy dips in equities.

“We had a dip, we had a shock, there is fear of the Delta variant and there is the other side, which is some day we get beyond COVID-19 and when we do, we have a worldwide recovery,” Cumberland Advisors Inc. chief investment officer David Kotok told Bloomberg.

“We are seeing that tension going on in the markets for the last few days,” he added.

Other investors sounded a more cautious note.

“From a long-term perspective we are really still very constructive on equity markets, so we’d encourage clients to be overweight risk assets… the correction we had is healthy to clear some of the excess out of the market and to get better balancing between growth and value,” Goldman Sachs (NYSE:) Asset Management’s co-head of fundamental equity Katie Koch told Bloomberg.

Investors now await the and policy decisions, both due to be handed down on Thursday.

Across the Atlantic, U.S. data released on Tuesday showed were at an eight-month low of 1.598 million units, while were at a better-than-expected 1.643 million units, in June. figures for June are due on Thursday.

Meanwhile, talks continue over the U.S.’s gigantic $579 billion infrastructure spending package forming a key part of President Joe Biden’s plan to revive the economy.

On a separate note, the Biden administration said it is starting to see signs that the global semiconductor supply shortage is coming to an end.

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