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  • Asian shares remain mildly offered despite stimulus, vaccine hopes.
  • UK PM Johnson pressured towards the national lockdown, over 40 countries ban British travels.
  • US adds visa restrictions for Chinese diplomats, alleges Russia over Treasury hack.

Asian equities stay depressed during early Tuesday as the coronavirus (COVID-19) variant renews fears of another pandemic even as global vaccine manufacturers assure safety. In doing so, the MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan drops 0.30% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 marks a 0.50% loss before the European session.

Not only the virus woes, fresh fears of geopolitical tension between the US and China, also among Russia and America, offer extra burden onto the already dull sentiment. The US announced additional visa restrictions on Chinese officials with Department of Homeland Security Chief Chad Wolf saying more on the cards, including tighter visa curbs on Chinese Communist Party members as well as a broader ban on goods made with forced labor. On the other hand, US Senator Ron Wyden said, Treasury staff tells senate finance committee that treasury suffered a serious breach, beginning in July, the full depth of which isn’t known.”

That said, Brexit talks are rumored to head towards the welcome decision as MNI suggests the policymakers are near to a solution on the fisheries.

Talking about the data, Australia’s preliminary Retail Sales for November marked a strong upside of 7.0% versus 1.4% prior but couldn’t save ASX 200 from declining near 1.0% by press time. On the contrary, New Zealand’s NZX 50 becomes the biggest gainer of Asia-Pacific with 1.85% current gains as the Pacific nation cheers its least virus-infected status.

Furthermore, stocks in China, Hong Kong and South Korea trade mixed with minor losses whereas those from Indonesia register 0.6% intraday declines by the time of writing. Moving on,  India’s BSE Sensex rises over 0.70% amid cautious optimism as virus cases ease at home.

S&P 500 Futures trim early Asian losses as the US House approved $1.4 trillion government spending and $900 billion covid relief package. The bills are now in the Senate with most policymakers likely positive towards the outcome.


Read: S&P 500 Futures trims early losses as US House approves covid relief bill, government funding

Looking forward, the official announcement of the US aid package and government funding can lift the mood but concerns that the UK will be short of the testing capacities due to the latest virus strain can keep challenging the risks. On the calendar, final readings of the US and the UK Q3 2020 GDP can entertain market players.