MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat. The risk-sensitive Australian dollar retreated from an overnight two-month high and safe-haven demand drove US Treasury yields back under 0.7 percent. The moves follow a downbeat end to the day on Wall Street, after a report from medical news website STAT cast doubt over positive early results from a Moderna Inc COVID-19 vaccine trial. The report said the results, which had rallied global stocks this week, lacked detail.
Chinese stocks began the day a little lower and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.1 percent. Australia’s benchmark was flat while a soft yen helped the Nikkei 0.7 percent higher.
“This is probably more a stabilisation than anything else, because markets have rallied hard on opening up and the potential for a V-shaped recovery,” said Jun Bei Liu, a portfolio manager at Australia’s Tribeca Investment Partners.
“The market is a little bit directionless…from here on, it certainly feels like we will see a lot more poor economic data,” she said, with investors likely to take their strongest cues from company outlook commentaries and confidence surveys.
Two thirds of 223 fund managers surveyed by Bank of America reckon recent gains are a bear-market rally.
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