Stocks in Asia-Pacific were lower on Tuesday as concerns over a coronavirus surge in multiple countries dulled optimism over the vaccine rollout in the U.S.
Mainland Chinese markets were mixed on the day: The Shanghai composite dipped fractionally to 3,367.23 while the Shenzhen component gained 0.52% to 13,763.31. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was about 0.6% lower, as of its final hour of trading.
China’s industrial production grew 7% year-on-year in November, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics announced Tuesday. That was in line with expectations. Meanwhile, retail sales in China increased 5% in November as compared with a year ago, missing forecasts for a 5.2% increase by analysts.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dipped 0.17% to close at 26,687.84 while the Topix index slipped 0.47% to finish its trading day at 1,782.05. South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.19% to close at 2,756.82.
Shares in Australia were also lower, with the S&P/ASX 200 down 0.43% to close at 6,631.30. Minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s December policy meeting released Tuesday warned of the possibility of “an extended period of high unemployment” as it would take time for output to reach its pre-pandemic level.