Asian markets jittery amid omicron concerns
Mixed signals seen as investors try to figure out extent of new coronavirus strain's negative impact on global economy
Stock markets in Asia closed Tuesday with mixed figures amid rising concerns over the new omicron coronavirus variant.
Investors are still trying to figure out the extent of the negative impact the new strain may have on the global economy, as it has already led to several countries introducing border curbs and other stringent measures.
Markets are also waiting for remarks by US Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in Senate later on Tuesday, looking for clues on future monetary policies.
Over in China, the manufacturing purchasing managers' index climbed to 50.1, while Japan's housing starts surpassed expectations with an increase of 10.4% and industrial production jumped by 1.1% in October for the first time in three months.
The Asia Dow, which includes blue-chip companies in the region, shed 19.07 points, or 0.51%, to close at around 3,695 points.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 stock exchange was down by 462.16 points, or 1.63%, to 27,821.
The Hang Seng, the benchmark for blue-chip stocks trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange, dropped 376.98 points, or 1.58%, to 23,475.
China's Shanghai stock exchange was slightly up by 1.19 points, or 0.03%, to 3.563, while the Indian Sensex benchmark lost 195.71 points, or 0.34%, to close at 57,064 points.
The Singapore index also fell by 79.29 points, or 2.54%, to 3,041.