BEIJING – Asian stocks followed Wall Street Thursday as investors watched Washington for signs of political leaders agreeing on an economic aid plan in the two weeks leading up to the November 3 presidential election.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 benchmark index fell 0.2% as US political leader on Wednesday argued over economic aid after the end of the additional unemployment benefit that supported consumer spending. Democrats urge Republicans to expand a proposed package.
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said she had made progress on talks with the White House. A possible deal, however, could face resistance in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told other Republicans he had warned the White House not to sign an aid agreement before the elections.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 fell to 3,435.56. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.4%. The Nasdaq Composite gave up 0.3% to 11,484.69.
Industrial and health stocks decreased. Communication services won. Social media stocks rose after photo service Snap saw bigger-than-expected gains in sales and users.
Google’s parent company rose 2.3% and added to its profits from a day earlier when the Justice Department sued it for antitrust violations. Investors had already expected such measures, said analysts Google Counter-arguments mean that it will likely take years to find a solution.
In the energy markets, US crude oil price in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange lost 26 cents to $ 39.77 a barrel. On Wednesday the contract fell $ 1.67 to $ 40.03 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, the price standard for international oils, lost 24 cents to $ 41.49 a barrel in London. The contract fell $ 1.43 to $ 41.73 a barrel in the last session.
The dollar rose to 104.67 Japanese yen from 104.54 yen on Wednesday. The euro fell from $ 1.1862 to $ 1.1850.
The market benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul withdrew.
“Optimism for fiscal stimulus agreements has waned,” Mizuho Bank said in a report.
The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.7% to 3,302.55 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo lost 0.6% to 23,489.51. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.1% to 24,719.12.
The Seoul Kospi was 0.7% lower at 2,353.28 and Sydney’s S&P ASX 200 was down 0.3% to 6,173.80.
India’s Sensex lost 0.2% to 40,623.74. New Zealand, Singapore and Jakarta also retreated while Bangkok advanced.
The markets fluctuate between optimism about the possible development of a Coronavirus vaccination and uncertainty about the US economic outlook without an aid package.