Hong Kong (CNN Business)Asian markets fell sharply Monday as the number of coronavirus cases around the world crossed more than 10 million, with at least half a million deaths.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 ( declined 2%. South Korea’s )Kospi (dropped 1.6%. Hong Kong’s )Hang Seng Index ( lost 1.2%, while China’s )Shanghai Composite ( shed 0.8% after trading for the first time since an extended holiday. )
US stocks futures, meanwhile, were muted following sharp declines Friday. Dow ( futures inched up 15 points, or nearly 0.1%. Futures for the )S&P 500 ( were up 0.1%, while )Nasdaq ( futures were down 0.2%. )
On Friday, the Dow tumbled more than 700 points as some states were forced to pause their reopening amid rising Covid-19 cases. Upticks have been reported in 36 states, including Florida, which some experts have cautioned could be the next epicenter for infections. Officials there and across the United States are also warning of an increase in cases among younger people.
“The rebound of the infection rate, especially in the US, shows that the road to full recovery is going to be long and that it will require medical solutions, such as a vaccine,” Tai Hui, chief Asia market strategist for JP Morgan Asset Management wrote in a Monday note.
The situation in the United States could also prompt concerns in Europe, as European governments are considering opening borders more during the summer holiday season, he added.
“We expect market sentiment to turn cautious in the near term, with investors hedging risks from the pandemic and ongoing tensions between the US and China,” Hui said.
In oil trading, US crude futures fell 2% to trade at $37.74 per barrel during Asian hours on Monday. Brent, the world oil benchmark, lost 1.7% to trade at $40.23 per barrel.