Asian markets sustained deep losses Wednesday after setbacks in the search for a COVID-19 vaccine or therapeutic drug caused uncertainty among investors.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index was the region’s lone brightspot, finishing 0.1% higher. The S&P/ASX index in Australia was down 0.2%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost seven points, but was unchanged percentage-wise. Shanghai’s Composite index closed 0.5% lower. South Korea’s KOSPI index fell 0.9%, and the TSEC index in Taiwan ended the trading session 0.2% lower.
The Sensex in India is down 0.6% in late afternoon trading.
U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly said Tuesday that clinical trials of its experimental coronavirus antibody treatment were being paused for safety reasons. Another U.S. pharmaceutical giant, Johnson & Johnson, revealed the day before that it was putting a hold on a late-stage trial of a potential vaccine after a participant became ill.
In commodities trading, gold was selling at $1,899.80, up 0.2%. U.S. crude oil is selling at $39.98 per barrel, down 0.5%, and Brent crude oil is trading at $42.25 per barrel, down 0.4%.
All three major U.S. indices are trending positively in futures trading.
Voice of America – English