Asian Stocks Trade Lower as China’s Fresh Covid Fear Looms

Asia-Pacific markets fell on Thursday, following U.S. Wall Street’s losses overnight, as new concerns over the spread of Covid-19 from China reduced risk appetite in one of the year’s final trading days.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan declined 1.42% at 9.29 a.m. (Thai time), while the Kospi in South Korea dropped 1.49%, as retail sales in the country fell 1.8% in November, the third straight month of declines, reversing advances seen in the third quarter.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 lost 1.23%.

Despite additional loosening of Covid restrictions taking effect today, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng market fell 1.20%.

The Shanghai Composite dipped 0.53% in mainland China.

Beginning Jan. 5, airline passengers arriving from China, Hong Kong, and Macau will be required to present a negative Covid test, regardless of nationality or vaccination status, the U.S. government announced late Wednesday.

The major indexes closed lower overnight on Wall Street as investors headed into the last trading days of 2022, with Apple weighing heavily on the Dow as it breached a key milestone and plummeted to another 52-week low.