TOKYO – Asian shares were mixed Thursday, after Wall Street took a pause from the optimism underlined in a record-setting climb earlier in the week.
A reality check appeared to be setting in amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and a batch of discouraging data on the U.S. economy, including jobless numbers.
U.S. markets will be closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. They will be open for half the day on Friday, closing at 1 p.m. Eastern.
“The cautious mood that had been observed in the U.S. market had transpired to Asia into Thursday with recent euphoria equally running out of steam into midweek,” said Jingyi Pan, senior market strategist at IG in Singapore.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.3% to 26,381.16 in morning trading. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.2% to 6,669.70, but South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.1% to 2,604.79. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dipped nearly 0.1% to 26,647.35, while the Shanghai Composite was up 0.1% at 3,367.16.
The upbeat mood earlier in the week had been set off by news of the development of coronavirus vaccines and treatments.
“Investors are still inoculated from iffy data this week, reveling in the vaccine pipeline. Still, they might need to be concerned with more days like this as the virus hits the economy faster than the vaccine roll-out evolves,” said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi.
Cases of COVID-19 continue to soar around the world, and deaths related to the sickness are still growing, hitting more than 1.4 million people cumulatively worldwide. Worries are growing about its spreading during Thanksgiving in the U.S. In Japan, authorities asked restaurants and bars to close early, and people to refrain from travel.