ILUSTRASI. FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective mask is seen inside the Shanghai Stock Exchange building, as the country is hit by a new coronavirus outbreak, at the Pudong financial district in Shanghai, China February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo
KONTAN.CO.ID - SYDNEY (Reuters). Asian share markets began the week with a cautious tone on Monday as the relentless spread of the coronavirus finally made investors question their optimism on the global economy, benefiting safe harbour bonds and the U.S. dollar.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.6% and further away from a four-month top hit last week. Japan’s Nikkei shed 1.3% and Chinese blue chips 0.6%.
In a more promising sign, E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 recouped their early losses to edge up 0.3% and EUROSTOXX 50 futures added 0.2%. FTSE futures dipped 0.2%.
Wall Street had faltered on Friday as some U.S. states reconsidered their reopening plans. The global death toll from COVID-19 reached half a million people on Sunday, according to a Reuters tally.
About one-quarter of all the deaths so far have been in the United States, with cases surging in a handful of southern and western states that reopened earlier.
“The increase in U.S. COVID-19 infection rates has dented momentum across markets despite the improvements in the global economy, which continues to beat most data expectations,” wrote analysts at JPMorgan in a note.
“Our strategists remain sanguine and recommend to buy on dips but also selectivity,” they added. “Traditional hedges like JPY vs USD, USD vs EM FX, gold and quality stocks are still outperforming this month. We stay overweight U.S. equities but move EM equities to neutral and stay neutral U.S. credit.”
Sovereign bonds benefited from the shift to safety with yields on U.S. 10-year notes falling to 0.64%, having briefly been as high as 0.96% early in June.