Most Asian Markets Fall as Investors Worry about China’s Reopening

On Tuesday, most Asian stock markets fell as investors braced for a rough ride with China’s loosening of Covid restrictions and the possibility of a more rapid increase in U.S. interest rates in 2023 than had been previously projected.

As of 9.23 A.M. (Thai time), the Shanghai Composite in mainland China fell 0.52% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.89%.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia traded 0.54% lower. 

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.32%, while South Korea’s Kospi rose fractionally.

After three years of Covid-19 lockdowns, China is pushing ahead with loosening restrictions, leaving investors to question how financial markets would respond to the reopening.

“The positive reaction to the reopening is starting to give way to the realization that it’s going to be a bumpy path for China to get there,” JP Morgan Asset Management’s global market strategist Kerry Craig told Reuters.

“Once they do reopen, there will be positive sentiment and China will become a growth story for the world again.”

Overnight in the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average loss 162.92 points, or 0.49%, to 32,757.54, the S&P 500 slid 34.7 points, or 0.90%, to 3,817.66 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 159.38 points, or 1.49%, to 10,546.03. All three markets ended the day in the red for the fourth session in a row.