Asian markets mostly lower; Hang Seng index down over 200 points

The Japanese 'Nikkei' closed for the 2nd day as public holidays extend into a long weekend.

Jul 23, 2021 12:07 IST India Infoline News Service

Asian markets were trading lower after a weak start with the Japanese 'Nikkei' closed for the 2nd day as public holidays extend into a long weekend.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined over 200 points or 1.1%, South Korea’s Kospi was flat and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.11%. 

As per media reports, Beijing is considering harsh penalties on ride-hailing giant Didi. The Shanghai index is down 0.64%.

US equities extended gains for the third consecutive day despite weak employment data as investors focused on a strong report card of corporate earnings. June quarter corporate earnings have been quite impressive so far with most companies succeeding to beat consensus estimates, while S&P 500 companies were forecasted to record over 65% yoy growth in June quarter earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 25.35 points higher to 34,823.35 while the S&P 500 gained 0.2% to 4,367.48. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.36% to 14,684.60.

However, US job data for the latest week saw weakness as jobless claims rose by 51,000 to 4.19 lakh.

Notably, ECB as expected remained dovish and maintain its accommodative stance, while it has revised the inflation target for 2021 to 1.9% and 1.5% in 2022 and 1.4% in 2023. 

Meanwhile, oil prices were lower in the afternoon trade, with international benchmark Brent crude futures shed 0.42% to $73.48 per barrel. U.S. crude futures slipped 0.45% to $71.59 per barrel.

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