SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific dropped on Friday, with stocks in Hong Kong and Japan leading losses regionally as fears of a new Covid variant weighed on investor sentiment.
World Health Organization officials said Thursday they areA special meeting is scheduled for Friday to discuss its implications for vaccines and treatments.
Hong Kong’ssaw sharp losses on Friday, falling 2.67% to close at 24,080.52. The variant has been detected in Hong Kong, according to South Africa’s Minister of Health Joe Phaahla.
Thein Japan dropped 2.53% to close at 28,751.62 while the Topix index fell 2.01% to 1,984.98. Shares of plummeted 5.19% following a that Chinese regulators have asked , which the Japanese conglomerate holds a sizable stake in, to delist from the U.S.
In mainland China, thedeclined 0.56% to close at 3,564.09 while the finished the trading day 0.342% lower at 14,777.17.
South Korea’sclosed 1.47% lower at 2,936.44.
Thein Australia fell 1.73% on the day to 7,279.30. in October jumped 4.9% month-on-month, seasonally adjusted, according to official estimates released Friday. That was far higher than the 2.5% increase predicted in a Reuters poll.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 2.18%.
The, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.608 — still above levels below 96.5 seen earlier in the trading week.
The South African rand weakened more than 2% against the greenback, last trading at 16.3177 per dollar.
Thefell to $0.7118, extending losses following yesterday’s drop from levels above $0.72.
down 4.38% to $78.62 per barrel. slipped 5.17% to $74.34 per barrel.
Travel stocks in Asia-Pacific fell on Friday amid the renewed Covid fears.
In Australia,shares dropped 5.48% while Hong Kong-listed shares of slipped 4.11%. Shares of in Japan plunged 6.48%. stock in Singapore declined 3.43% as of 4:13 p.m. local time.
Markets in the U.S. were closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.