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  • Asian shares drop amid vaccine fears as well as geopolitical and trade worries emanating from China, North Korea.
  • Sino-American trade woes are back to the table while the West battles Beijing.
  • Hong Kong, Macau suspends BioNTech vaccine, Australia’s NSW eases lifts lockdown barriers.
  • Fed remains divided over tapering and rate-hikes, US Treasury yields refresh one-week low.

Asian equities remain depressed as risk-off intensifies on early Wednesday. While uncertainty over the Fed’s future policies and economic recovery initially weighed down the sentiment, vaccine headlines and chatters surrounding China recently heavy the mood in Asia-Pacific. While portraying the same, MSCI’s gauge of Asia-Pacific shares ex-Japan drops 1.20% to a two-week low whereas Japan’s Nikkei 225 declines 1.43% ahead of the European session.

Australia’s ASX 200 rises 0.75% as the largest state New South Wales (NSW), population-wise, announced removal of mask mandate while eyeing the 100% sport-stadium capacity and encouraging social gatherings. While following the move, coupled with the upbeat trade numbers at home, New Zealand NZX 50 also prints 0.60% intraday gains by the press time.

Hong Kong, Macau suspends Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine over packaging defect while the European Union (EU) feels the jabbing is moving as per the target. Further, US President Joe Biden repeated his vaccine optimism and the UK unveiled plans to jab students from August.

Elsewhere, China’s inability to perform the Sino-American trade deal and alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang joins North Korea’s missile tests to contribute to the risk-off mood. As a result, stocks in China and Hong Kong are mostly red.

South Korea’s KOSPI also copies the trade from Asia-Pacific majors even as Bank of Korea (BOK) Governor Lee Ju-yeol sees stronger economic recovery this year while adding that they are in no hurry to hike the interest  rates. Moving on, stocks in Indonesia also decline amid downbeat comments from Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati whereas India’s BSE Sensex is no different and keeps the previous day’s losses.

On a broader front, S&P 500 Futures seesaw around 3,900 whereas the US 10-year Treasury yields drop below 1.60%, down 4.4 basis points (bps) while highlighting the risk-off mood.

Read:  S&P 500 Futures seesaw around 3,900 as US Treasury yields refresh one-week low

Considering the strength of risk-aversion, today’s busy calendar will need to flash multiple strong positives to push back the bears.