Asia-Pacific stocks fall as omicron variant fears continue to weigh on market sentiment – CNBC

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific fell in Thursday trade, as concerns over the economic impact of the omicron Covid variant continue to weigh on investor sentiment.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed 0.41%. Shares of Razer dropped more than 5% in early trade. The company said a consortium has offered to take it private at 2.82 Hong Kong dollars each, about 5.62% higher than Razer’s Wednesday close.

Mainland Chinese stocks also declined, with the Shanghai composite down 0.12% and the Shenzhen component falling 0.215%.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan declined 0.38% while the Topix index shed 0.4%.

Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell about 0.4%. Australia’s October trade surplus came in at 11.22 billion Australian dollars (about $7.97 billion) on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to official data. That was against expectations in a Reuters poll for an 11 billion Australian dollar surplus for October.

South Korea’s Kospi bucked the overall trend regionally as it rose 0.28%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.13% lower.

Stocks on Wall Street saw a sharp reversal overnight after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of omicron in the U.S.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 461.68 points to 34,022.04 while the S&P 500 declined 1.18% to 4,513.04. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.83% to 15,254.05.

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The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.062 after briefly spiking above 96.5 earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 112.96 per dollar, still stronger than levels above 113.4 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7101 after recently dropping from above $0.715.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures advanced 0.62% to $69.30 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.67% to $66.01 per barrel.

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