Markets mixed after Wall St rebound as early rally wanes

HONG KONG (AFP): Asian and European markets were mixed Thursday (Sept 10) as an early rally spurred by Wall Street's rebound from its three-day rout ran out of steam.

The Nasdaq led a surge in New York as technology firms, who had suffered painful losses since the end of last week, staged a strong recovery led by giants including Apple, Microsoft and Tesla.

Analysts said the three-day retreat came after months of mind-boggling gains that had pushed company valuations to unsustainable levels and provided a much-needed release of pressure.

The Nasdaq piled on 2.7 per cent and the S&P 500 chalked up a two-per cent jump, providing a healthy lead for investors in Asia but inital advances across the board gave way to investor nervousness.

Tokyo, Sydney, Seoul, Mumbai, Taipei, Bangkok and Wellington were all up but Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Bangkok and Manila were all in the red.

Jakarta plunged five per cent after authorities reimposed containment measures in the capital to battle a resurgence of the coronavirus.

London, Paris and Frankfurt stocks were all lower in the morning.

Stephen Innes at AxiCorp said that while the vast sums of cash put up by the Federal Reserve and other central banks was providing much-needed support to markets, virus concerns continue to play in the background.

He added that governments were trying to balance rebooting their economies against fuelling fresh waves of the disease, particularly with the northern hemisphere winter approaching.

The early promise came as hopes for a vaccine were given a boost by a report in the Financial Times that the trial being conducted by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford could resume early next week, ending a pause after a volunteer developed an unexplained illness.

The drug is a frontrunner in the global race for a vaccine.

The FT said people close to the study had raised the prospect of a resumption once its data monitoring board had investigated the issue.

Still, OANDA's Edward Moya said the delay was being spun by some "as good news that developers are upholding their pledge to uphold the integrity of the scientific process of finding a vaccine".

Focus is now on the European Central Bank's next policy meeting later in the day, with speculation it could unveil fresh economic support measures as several countries struggle with fresh infection spikes.

Investors are also keeping track of trade talks between Britain and the European Union after Boris Johnson's government introduced legislation that intentionally breaches its obligations regarding Northern Ireland in the withdrawal treaty.

The move has fanned fears Britain will exit without an agreement, dealing a double-whammy to the country's stuttering economy that has been ravaged by virus lockdowns.

Such concerns have sent the pound tumbling and it is sitting around six-week lows against the dollar.

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