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UN Security Council condemns Kabul education center bombing            Parts Helmand Districts Cleared of Taliban: Defense Ministry             Khalilzad Calls for Urgent Reduction of Violence in Afghanistan            China threatens US with Ďlegitimate responseí over arms sales to Taiwan            Iran summons Swiss envoy to protest Ďbaselessí US claims on elections interference             Lebanese president tasks Hariri with forming new government            Three-man crew return to Earth from International Space Station             Obama warns Biden supporters not to be ícomplacentí as he rips Trumpís record            Bolivia election transparent, Arceís victory overwhelming: OAS            Iran successfully tests Bavar-373 air defense system on 2nd day of drills            US Democrats fear a late Trump surge despite opinion polls            Turkey extends gas exploration in disputed Mediterranean waters            Mosques in southern France placed under protection amid threats            Advocacy groups file complaint over Texas youth prison conditions            US Senate Intelligence Committee blames Americaís enemies for divide in the nation            


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Asian, European stocks sink as virus, stimulus sour mood


A man looks at an electronic board showing a stock price of K-pop management agency Big Hit Entertainment after the companyís initial public offering ceremony at the lobby of the Korea Exchange in Seoul on October 15, 2020. (AFP photo)

Concerns about the reimposition of virus lockdowns, stalled vaccine trials and dimming hopes of new US stimulus soon weighed on Asian and European markets Thursday.

Regional investors tracked another sell-off in New York, where all three main indexes turned negative after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned that while talks continued, Republicans and Democrats were still "far apart" on a rescue package.

While the broad view is that a new spending package will get passed eventually, the comments reinforced expectations that there will be nothing before next monthís presidential and congressional elections.

"This has been an ongoing drama," said Paul Nolte, at Kingsview Investment Management.

"The latest twist I heard is nothing is going to get done until the election. Thatís why I think youíre getting the market selling off a little bit."

However, analysts said traders were taking comfort from the possibility that Joe Biden and the Democrats will win the presidency and both houses of Congress, paving the way for a bigger stimulus than anything that could be agreed before the vote.

Adding to the downbeat mood on trading floors is the surge in coronavirus infections in Europe, which is forcing governments to revert to tough containment measures that observers fear could deliver a blow to a tentative recovery from national lockdowns earlier this year.

France on Wednesday imposed a curfew in Paris and eight other cities -- covering almost a third of the countryís population -- for as long as six weeks, while Germany and Ireland also ramped up restrictions.

The moves follow a partial lockdown in the Netherlands and increasingly strict measures in Britain.

íRough winterí warning

The crisis comes after hopes for a vaccine were dealt a blow by news that Johnson & Johnson had halted advanced trials after a volunteer fell ill, while Eli Lilly paused work on a treatment.

"The European Covid situation has been deteriorating again this week and more and more countries are introducing strict containment measures," said Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman.

"France, Spain, Italy, the UK, and Germany are all under pressure, and since the recent economic releases already showed worrisome trends, the contingent might be heading for a rough winter."

Tokyo suffered steep losses, while Mumbai, Taipei, Manila and Wellington were also in the red. Singapore and Hong Kong were both well down, with little reaction from news that the two citiesí governments were pushing ahead with plans to open a travel bubble in a first for Asia.

Seoul lost 0.8 percent, though shares in Big Hit Entertainment -- the management agency of K-pop sensation BTS -- more than doubled on their debut after the initial public offering was more than 600 times oversubscribed.

The firm soared from its IPO price of 135,000 won ($118) to its daily limit of 351,000 won before settling back to end at 258,000 won -- giving it a market capitalisation of $7.6 billion and putting it among South Koreaís top 40 most valuable companies.

London, Paris and Frankfurt all tumbled around two percent in the morning.

The pound was struggling ahead of a European Union summit where leaders will discuss post-Brexit trade talks, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging them to give ground or see Britain walk away with no deal.

While talks are stuck on fishing quotas and fair competition rules, EU officials say they believe an agreement can be found but do not recognise Londonís Thursday deadline for a deal and say they will not make one "at any price".

 

(Source: AFP)

LINK: https://www.ansarpress.com/english/20866


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