Asian stocks came under pressure on Friday as investors sought safe havens, such as the U.S. dollar, fearing that a resurgence in coronavirus cases and a lack of additional U.S. fiscal stimulus would hobble the world economy.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s offer on Thursday to raise the size of a fiscal stimulus package to win the support of Republicans and Democrats helped narrow Wall Street losses, though many investors still believe a deal is unlikely before the Nov. 3 election.
Stocks struggled to make gains in early Asian trade with Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 down 0.02% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 futures adding just 0.06%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index futures rose 0.36%. E-mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.04%.
Australia and New Zealand investors were likely to “take a breather” on Friday, especially after New Zealand equities climbed 6% during October.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.07%, the S&P 500 0.15% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.47%.