ASIAN shares extended losses for the second day on Tuesday amid concerns about second coronavirus pandemic lockdowns in Europe.
Fears of another lockdown across Europe appears to have knocked investor sentiment this morning. Hong Kong shares of HSBC 0005.HK and Standard Chartered 2888.HK fell more than 2 percent each. Global banking stocks have remained under intense pressure following reports about financial institutions allegedly moving illicit funds.
British lenders HSBC and StanChart were among global lenders named as having transferred more than $2 trillion in suspect funds over nearly two decades.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was down 0.5 percent.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 .AXJO dropped 0.7 percent pressured by miners and energy stocks, while China’s blue-chip index .CSI300 shed 0.1 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index .HSI was down 0.5 percent Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.
“We can’t see any positive news on the horizon in the near-term for the markets to rebound,” said Steven Leung, executive director for institutional sales at Hong Kong brokerage UOB Kay Hian.
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FTSE 100 LIVE: Shares weaken amid second lockdown fears and big banking sell-off
5.45pm update: Expert comments on markets
After losing almost five percent over the last four sessions, the FTSE 100 jumped as much as 1.2 percent after Boris Johnson’s announcement, before closing 0.4 percent higher.
“The rhetoric of Boris Johnson (on Monday) was a lot worse than what the measures are,” said Michael Baker, analyst at ETX Capital in London. “The measures declared are a lot less crippling that than a full-scale lockdown.”
“Any sort of (market) moves now are going to be purely based on how the government reacts to the virus rather than what the virus is actually doing,” he added.
5.00pm update: FTSE-100 closed
The FTSE-100 index at the close was up 25.17 at 5829.46.
The FTSE Mid-250 index closed down 49.12 at 16821.66.
3.45pm update: FTSE-100 UP
The FTSE-100 index at 3:45pm was up 52.40 at 5856.69.
2.10pm update: Pound slips amid new COVID rules
Sterling wavered between losses and gains on Tuesday.
At one point Sterling slipping to two-month lows against the dollar.
It came a British Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled new long-lasting restrictions to tackle a second wave of the coronavirus.
“Service is a very important component of the UK industry and leisure and hospitality is the services sector and restrictions will mean less revenues and more pain,” said Kenneth Broux, FX strategist at Societe Generale. “As a component to GDP, it also diminishes the bounce-back that we may get.”
1.45pm update: FTSE-100 up
The FTSE-100 index at 1:45pm was up 30.91 at 5835.20.
12.45pm update: COVID measures impact European markets – expert
In Spain, the army has been asked to help fight a coronavirus surge in Madrid.
It comes as while restrictions in other European countries were announced last week, with Germany describing the situation as “worrying”.
“The terms ‘second wave’ and ‘lockdown’ have been with us for a while, but so far the markets reacted only moderately cautiously to the negative news flow,” said You-Na Park-Heger, FX analyst at Commerzbank.
“However, as the situation seems to be deteriorating, particularly in Europe, the markets nonetheless seem to be getting nervous at this stage,” she said.
Coronavirus has sent shockwaves through the UK economy
12.00pm update: Currency latest
The pound at 12pm was 1.2858 dollars compared to 1.2798 dollars at the previous close.
The euro at 12pm was 0.9147 pounds compared to 0.9174 pounds at the previous close.
10.45am update: Bright day for EU markets
European markets are enjoying a bright morning with the Euronext 100, DAX, CAC 40 and the Swiss Market Index all up.
Euronext is up 0.58%, DAX is up 0.31%, CAC is up 10.3% and Swiss Market is up 0.61%.
9.25am update: Wetherspoon to cut hundreds of jobs
Wetherspoon is set to cut 400 to 450 jobs at its airport pubs.
The losses were announced in a letter to staff this morning.
Read more on Tim Martin’s decision to cut Wetherspoon jobs here.
8.40am update: Positive start for FTSE
After yesterday’s horror show, it has been a cautiously positive start to the day for the FTSE 100.
Yesterday the UK index fell from 6,007 points to 5,779, amid growing rumours of a total coronavirus lockdown.
Today, as it emerged Prime Minister Boris Johnson was considering a more lenient approach, the market recovered slightly.
The FTSE has risen from yesterday’s close to 5,779 to 5,827 – a 0.39% increase.
7.20am update: Premier Inn owner warns of 6,000 job losses
Premier Inn owner Whitbread has warned it could axe up to 6,000 jobs as the coronavirus crisis continues to hit demand for hotel stays.
Whitbread, which aslo owns the Brewers Fayre chain of restaurants, made the announcement this morning.
The company said staff consultation will begin shortly. They said they hoped to make the majority of job losses voluntary.