Asian Stocks Down After Wave of Dismal Economic Data

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By Gina Lee

Investing.com – Asian stocks retreated on Thursday morning with investors digesting an onslaught of dismal economic data.

China’s  was down 0.15% by 10:44 PM ET (3:44 AM GMT) while the  also slid 0.16% with the country’s Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index for April came in at 44.4.

China’s services sector slid for the third straight month and layoffs hit a record high with the country struggling to kickstart its economy in the aftermath of COVID-19.

Although the reading was higher than March’s reading of 43, it was still under the 50-level indicating growth.

Hong Kong’s  dropped 0.40% after Hong Kong-listed Budweiser APAC posted a net loss of $41 million in the first quarter.

Japan’s  was down 0.10% as it reopened after a holiday. Meanwhile, neighboring South Korea’s  gained 0.05%.

Down Under, the  slid 0.41%.

Meanwhile, the U.S. said overnight that U.S. companies cut a record 20.2 million jobs in April.

U.S. unemployment data, expected later in the day, predicted another 3 million according to forecasts prepared by Investing.com.

Investors remained cautious as the data indicated that the global economic recovery from the COVID-19 virus continued to be hampered.

“We remain concerned about the potential for the pandemic to have lasting effects on growth,” Ron Temple, co-head of multi-asset and head of U.S. equity at Lazard (NYSE:) Asset Management, told Bloomberg.

“Countries and companies are likely to exit the crisis with significantly higher debt, curtailing their ability to invest and innovate.” 

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