Most Asia Pacific stocks were in the red on Thursday. Australia’s ASX 200 index declined amid lockdown restrictions in Sydney. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index also declined. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose while the Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Component fell.
Australia’s Economic Outlook
The ASX 200 index has been on a two-day losing streak amid Covid-19 restrictions in Sydney. NSW laid out stricter measures to contain corona virus in Sydney. Sydneysiders are to wear masks in offices and have no more than five visitors in their homes.
Sydney being Australia’s largest city, has been greatly affected by the restrictions. Air travels to the city have been cancelled ahead of next week’s school holiday. According to the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, travelers from Greater Sydney contributed about 30% of $10 billion in interstate tourism.
Melbourne’s covid-19 restrictions were slashed on Wednesday. Melburnians were allowed to host 15 visitors in their homes up from 2. Office capacity was increased from 50% to 75%. Public events were allowed a maximum of 25,000 people.
Energy producers such as Santos Limited and Woodside Petroleum Limited inched lower on Thursday after a decline in oil prices. However, the Crude WTI slightly increased on Thursday.
Gold miners also declined after a dip in Spot gold prices to $1,776 per ounce. Among the companies that took a dive are Newcrest Mining Limited and Evolution Mining Limited.
Iron ore prices rebounded in Australia with the iron mining companies surging. Rio Tinto, Fortescue Limited and BHP Group jumped higher after an increase in the spot iron ore prices.
According to the Australia Bureau of Statistics, most Australian businesses are struggling to find suitable employees. According to a survey, lack of applicants for jobs was the main reason for limited employees. However, some companies lack skilled applicants. The closure of borders within the state has also caused a hiccup in employment.
ASX 200 Movers
Afterpay Limited recorded the most gains in the ASX 200 index. The company was up by 6.63% hitting its highest level in four months. The company launched a digital card strategy that opens itself to a range of US retail giants.
ADBRI Limited and Appen Limited were also among the top performers in the index. Each gained 2.47% and 2.40% respectively.
Laggards in the index include ARB Corporation, Ampol Limited and Amcor plc. Each fell by 2%, 1.87% and 1.75% respectively.