Most Asian markets reversed early losses Tuesday as hopes for the economic outlook trumped worries over a coronavirus surge, new lockdowns, a slow vaccine rollout and uncertainty over US Senate elections.
While analysts are broadly upbeat about the long-term outlook this year, the nascent inoculation programmes have yet to have an impact, meaning the first few months of the year will likely be bumpy. And the task ahead was laid bare by data showing almost 280,000 Americans were infected in one day, while the country’s death toll passed 300,000.
And as a new, potentially more transmissible strain rampages around the world, governments are being forced to tighten containment measures again, with England going into a six-week full lockdown after officials warned hospitals could soon face collapse. Such measures are fuelling concerns the already stuttering economic recovery could be jolted off course in the first quarter.— AFP