Stocks in Asia-Pacific declined in Tuesday trade following investor jitters overnight on Wall Street over a new coronavirus strain in the U.K.
Mainland Chinese stocks declined in early trade: The Shanghai composite shed 0.38% while the Shenzhen component dipped 0.252%.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 declined 0.47% in morning trade while the Topix index fell 0.9%. South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.37%.
Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.67%.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.26% lower.
Australia’s retail sales jumped 7% in November as compared with October on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to preliminary figures released by the country’s Bureau of Statistics.
Following that data release, the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7573, after dropping below $0.75 yesterday.
Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 declined 0.4% to close at 3,694.92 while the Nasdaq Composite finished its trading day 0.1% lower at 12,742.52. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, on the other hand, gained 37.40 points to close at 30,216.45.
Developments surrounding the coronavirus pandemic likely continued to weigh on investor sentiment, following the discovery of a new Covid strain in the U.K. that has prompted tighter lockdowns and travel restrictions across Europe.