HONG KONG: Asian markets extended losses Wednesday with virus and vaccine fears returning to haunt investors as Europe faces fresh infection spikes and lockdowns that could knock the economic recovery off course.
After several weeks of worrying that an expected resurgence in global growth will fan inflation and force central banks to hike interest rates, the fear of another Covid-19 wave has returned, reports AFP.Europe's two biggest economies, Germany and France, as well as a number of other countries have been forced to impose new restrictions to battle the disease, at the same time as they struggle to get their vaccination programmes rolling properly.
"Covid-19 cases continue to resurge in continental Europe, so their double-dip recession persists as they continue to argue about vaccinations and why they are lagging behind the US and Britain in vaccination rates," said markets strategist Louis Navellier.
Hong Kong was among the biggest losers, dropping two percent after news that the government had suspended its Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine programme over concerns about packaging, dealing a blow to the city's already slow inoculation programme.
Nearby Macau also halted those jabs. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index has now fallen into a correction having lost more that 10 percent from its recent high.