UK and US investors’ worries about the significant rise in coronavirus cases and consequent strict new restrictions, caused stock markets in Asia to suffer on Tuesday.
Stock exchanges in Australia, Hong Kong, China and South Korea all closed lower.
Previously, Asian markets had been buoyed by optimism over China’s continued economic recovery.
The other big issue affecting local markets by weighing on Asian investors’ confidence is the struggle between the US and China over their tech companies.
“The biggest issue for local markets is how the battle for tech sector super dominance plays out between the US and China, which is getting viewed through the lens of the ByteDance and Oracle-Walmart deal,” said Stephen Innes, a market strategist quoted by the BBC.
In Europe, banking shares fell over concerns about leaked documents and possible further scandals following on the heels of the HSBC debacle. Those falls carried over into Asian trading.
HSBC, the bank at the centre of the global money-laundering scandal, saw its share price fall to a 25-year low, and the entire banking sector saw its shares follow downwards.
More than £50 billion was wiped off UK shares, and caused similar falls across European and US stock markets.