Market

Asian shares mostly higher after tech-led decline on Wall St

Bangkok, Asian markets mostly gained on Friday after more declines in big technology stocks pulled major indexes lower on Wall Street.

Tokyo and Taiwan slipped but other regional markets advanced. U.S. futures also were higher, said an AP report.

A resurgence of coronavirus outbreaks has added to uncertainties over a revival of tourism and other business activity across Asia.

The World Health Organisation says a record 9.5 million COVID-19 cases were tallied over the last week as the omicron variant of the coronavirus swept the planet, a 71% increase from the previous 7-day period that the U.N. health agency likened to a “tsunami.”

Asia has seen smaller numbers but infections are rising rapidly and bottlenecks in testing mean that still more cases are likely unreported.

At the same time, alarm has been kept in check by signs the omicron variant may cause less severe illness, especially in countries with high levels of vaccination against COVID-19.

“The highly transmissible omicron variant is a near-term growth risk for low vaccinated emerging market economies, and to supply chains amid China’s zero-COVID strategy,” Sonal Varma of Nomura said in a report.

Stocks have been choppy this week as traders reacted to the big rise in bond yields. The S&P 500 and Dow both set all-time highs on Monday, only to lose ground in subsequent days. The major indexes are now on pace to post weekly losses.

Source: Bahrain News Agency