Asia stocks follow Wall Street down on renewed virus worries

FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2020 file photo, a sign for Wall Street is carved in the side of a building. Banks and energy stocks are leading major U.S. indexes mostly lower in the early going on Wall Street, while gains for some Big Tech companies like Microsoft nudged the Nasdaq slightly higher.  (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2020 file photo, a sign for Wall Street is carved in the side of a building. Banks and energy stocks are leading major U.S. indexes mostly lower in the early going on Wall Street, while gains for some Big Tech companies like Microsoft nudged the Nasdaq slightly higher. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

BEIJING – Asian stock markets followed Wall Street lower Wednesday after European governments extended anti-coronavirus lockdowns, clouding the outlook for economic recovery.

Market benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong retreated.

Overnight, Wall Street gave up most of the previous day's gains as technology, industrial and bank stocks fell.

Investor confidence was shaken after Germany, Europe's biggest economy, and the Netherlands extended lockdowns and imposed new travel and business curbs in response to spikes in infection.

The World Health Organization said the weekly global death toll from the virus is rising again following six weeks of declines. It said the number of new reported cases rose in four of six global regions.

“Investors were left scrambling for life jackets, as it seems we are back navigating the stormy sea of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Stephen Innes of Axi in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.6% to 3,392.00 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo fell 1.8% to 28,465.86. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong retreated 1.4% to 28,090.38.

The Kospi in South Korea gave up 0.6% to 3,986.00. The S&P-ASX 200 in Australia gained 0.5% to 6,776.80. New Zealand gained while Singapore retreated.