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13 Jun 2022

Asian Stocks sank due to Rising Inflation and China COVID-19 Worries

The Index Today

Asian stocks fell further on Monday and bond yields ticked higher as rising inflation reignited worries about even more aggressive U.S. interest rate increases amid new mass COVID-19 testing in China sparked concerns of more crippling lockdowns.

MSCI's benchmark Asia-Pacific equity index slumped 2.66%. The stock weakness was expected to extend into U.S. and European trading with futures pointing to a 1.67% drop for the S&P 500, a 1.4% retreat for Germany's DAX and a 0.77% slide for Britain's FTSE.

Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA, wrote in a client note, "It is turning into a Black Monday in Asia."

"The R-word (is) now on everyone's lips" amid "a scramble to reassess Fed hiking expectations," he added in the note.

Focus in Asia was on the risk of fresh COVID-19 lockdowns with Beijing's most populous district of Chaoyang announcing three rounds of mass testing to quell a "ferocious" COVID-19 outbreak that emerged at a bar.

Shanghai conducted mass testing to contain a jump in cases tied to a hair salon.
Chinese blue chips dropped 1.42% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng suffered a 3.29% slide. Japan's Nikkei slumped 3.03% and South Korea's Kospi declined 3.27%. Australian markets were closed for a holiday.

China's Growth shares sagged, with tech giants listed in Hong Kong slumping 4.45%. Index heavyweights Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), Tencent and Meituan were each down between 4% and 6%.

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