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Asian Stocks Retreat as COVID-19 Infections Climb; Shooting at Pakistan Stock Exchange Leaves at Least 10 Dead

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Last updated: 06/29/2020 07:36:01

07:36 AM EDT, 06/29/2020 (MT Newswires) -- Asian stock markets retreated Monday as COVID-19 infections mounted worldwide. Monday also marked a shooting at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi, leaving at least 10 people dead, according to the Times of India newspaper.

Four security guards, a police officer and a bystander were killed, and four suspected gunmen were shot by security forces during the Monday morning attack at the stock exchange, the report said, citing a statement from Karachi police. Trading on the Pakistan Stock Exchange was not suspended, according to the report, citing the exchange's managing director.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dropped 2.3%, with investors reacting to reports that COVID-19 cases in the US, India and Brazil have hit record numbers. In the US, some states such as California and Florida and other localities have reinstated business restrictions to help blunt the spread of the virus.

Worldwide deaths from the novel coronavirus topped 500,000 on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The Nikkei 225 fell 517.04 to 21,995.04, as losing issues outnumbered gainers 212 to 12.

On the downside were satellite-TV outfit Sky Perfect (SKPJY, 9412:Tokyo), off 7.8%, and camera and electronics maker Canon (CAJ, 7751:Tokyo), off 6.4%.

Leading the thin upside was food company Meiji (MEJHY, 2269:Tokyo), up 1.8%, followed by Sumitomo Osaka Cement (SUCEF, 5232:Tokyo), up 0.5%. Delivery service Yamato (YATRF, 9064:Tokyo), up 0.4%.

In economic news, Japan's trade ministry said retail sales in May fell 12.3% year-over-year, as business lockdowns and other restrictive measures due to COVID-19 led consumers to cut spending on cars, clothing, and on general merchandise.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index fell 248.71, or 1%, 24,301.28, as losing issues outnumbered gainers 43 to six.

On the downside was conglomerate Swire Pacific (19:HK), off 4.7%, and New World Development (2909:HK), off 4.1%.

Leading the upside on a down day was toolmaker Techtronic International (669:HK), up 1.2%. China Construction Bank (939:HK) rose 1%, and coal miner China Shenhua Energy (1088:HK) gained 0.8%.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.6% to 2,961.52.

Mainland China's sovereign credit rating of A+ on long-term sovereign debt, with a stable outlook, was affirmed by S&P Global on Monday. "China is likely to maintain above-average economic growth relative to other middle-income economies in the next few years," said S&P in a statement.

In Pakistan, the KSE 100 overcame losses and rose by 0.7%.

In South Korea, the Kospi fell 1.9% and Taiwan's TWSE declined 1%. Australia's ASX 200 fell 1.5% and the Singapore Straits Times Index lost 1.2%. The Thai Set was flat. In late trading in Mumbai, the Sensex was off 0.6%.

The MSCI Asia Apex 50, a broad measure of large-cap Asian stocks outside Japan, fell 0.7%.

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