Tokyo The Asian equity markets started on Friday with losses. This is due to doubts about progress in the development of medicines to treat Covid-19, traders said. It had previously become known that the antiviral drug Remedesivier from the US manufacturer Gilead had not helped seriously ill patients in a first clinical study.
Investors were looking for something that could end the pandemic, said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at New York’s Inverness Counsel. “Any bad news is likely to mess up the market,” he said. “Investors want an appearance of hope that they will soon be able to get out of their homes and continue with some kind of normal life.”
The Tokyo stock exchange was initially weaker on Friday. The Nikkei index, which comprises 225 values, was 0.9 percent lower at 19,262 points. The broader Topix index fell by 0.6 percent and stood at 1417 points.
The Shanghai stock exchange was down 0.7 percent. The index of the most important companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen lost 0.6 percent. The MSCI index for Asian stocks outside of Japan rose 0.4 percent.
In Asian currency trading, the dollar gained 0.1 percent to 107.66 yen and rose 0.2 percent to 7.0803 yuan. The Swiss currency was 0.1 percent higher at 0.9765 francs. At the same time, the euro remained almost unchanged at $ 1.0773 and rose 0.1 percent to CHF 1.0522. The pound sterling gained 0.1 percent to $ 1.2354.
Economy Minister: Economic pact pushes Japan’s economy by 4.4 percent
In Japan, the Minister for Economic Affairs is optimistic about the new stimulus package. The package of the Japanese government in the fight against the consequences of the corona crisis is to push the economy strongly. It will increase gross domestic product by around 4.4 percent, said Yasutoshi Nishimura on Friday.
The government had raised the stimulus package to a record $ 1.1 trillion. This is intended to expand cash payments to citizens, for example. The coronavirus pandemic threatens to plunge the world’s third largest economy after the United States and China into recession.
In China, the country’s central bank cut another of its key interest rates. The interest rate for medium-term loans will fall to 2.95 from 3.15 percent, as announced on Friday in Beijing.
Commercial bank loans mature after one year, but can be extended to another two years. The central bank had recently turned the interest rate screw several times to boost the Chinese economy with cheaper money. This contracted by 6.8 percent in the first quarter due to the Corona crisis. This was the first minus since the beginning of the quarterly statistics in 1992.
More: Read all current developments regarding the corona pandemic here.