Asian Stock Markets Steady despite record Covid cases in Japan

18/11/2020 Asian stock markets are steady after U.S. shares retreated as investors weighed escalating Covid-19 cases against optimism over the vaccine news.

The JSE All Share closed 0.37% lower and the top 40 lost 0.5%, we are set for a flat opening this morning with IG Top 40 just down 10 points.
Ninety One, SA’s largest asset manager that was spun out of Investec, has experienced clients pulling money on a net basis for the first time in more than three years as international investors continue to favour high-growth tech stocks over more conservative value-based investment strategies. The company suffered net outflows of £300m (R6.1bn) in the six months to end-September, the first half-yearly net outflows since the second half of 2017. These were due to the loss of several large institutional equity mandates, mostly in North and South America, and compared with net inflows of £3.2bn in the corresponding period in 2019.
President Cyril Ramaphosa to give opening address at 2pm at the annual South African Investment Conference, he is also scheduled to be interviewed on Bloomberg TV at 12:30.
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European stocks closed lower on Tuesday despite a backdrop of more positive coronavirus vaccine news from Moderna. The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed down by around 0.2%, with travel stocks shedding 1.1% to lead the losses as the majority of sectors and major bourses slid into negative territory. FTSE – 0.87%, DAX – 0.04%, CAC + 0.21%
Overnight the Dow fell more than 167 points, dragged down by Walgreens, Home Depot and Walmart. The S&P 500 lost 0.5%. Tuesday’s session was the first time in three days the Dow and S&P 500 fell, following their record closes on Monday. The Nasdaq was the relative outperformer, dipping just 0.2%. Tesla shares popped more than 8% after after S&P Dow Jones Indices said that the electric vehicle company will join the S&P 500.
Asia-Pacific markets were mixed in Wednesday trade. Investors remained cautious despite vaccine hopes, as coronavirus cases continued to surge. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.76%, while the Topix dropped 0.6%. Japanese exports in October did much better than expected, falling 0.2%, according to the Ministry of Finance. That’s compared to a 4.5% decline forecast by economists in a Reuters poll. It followed a 4.9% drop in September. Hang Seng + 0.21% , ASX 200 + 0.51%, Kospi +0.23%, Shanghai Comp +0.28%. Tencent + 0.43%
Gold is flat at $1,879.43/oz while platinum rose 0.3% to $928.43. Brent crude was little changed at $43.74 a barrel.The rand is flat at R15.38/$ and 20.41/GBP.