Stocks, oil fall as second wave fears grow

Asian shares and Wall Street futures fell on Monday as growing fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections have raised economic concerns, while underwhelming data from China also weighed on investor sentiment.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.3% with Australian shares off 0.1% and South Korea easing 0.3%. Japan’s Nikkei faltered 0.7%.

Japan’s Nikkei also extended losses to 3.5%. Chinese shares joined the sell-off with the blue-chip CSI300 index down nearly 1%.

Monday's losses follow a global consensus since late March, fuelled by central bank and fiscal stimulus and optimism as countries gradually lifted restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

James McGlew, analyst at stockbroker Argonaut said: “Any new outbreak will be looked at very, very cautiously by investors. The market is putting into perspective that the Covid-19 ciris has not been resolved yet. It’s a reality check."

Investors are also fretting over a spike in cases in the United States where more than 25,000 new cases were reported on Saturday.

Worldwide coronavirus cases have crossed 7.86 million with 430,501​ deaths.

China’s industrial output rose 4.4% in May from a year ago when analysts had forecast a gain of 5.0% while retail sales fell 2.8%.

The Chinese yuan made losses in offshore trade after the data to be last at 7.0883 per dollar.

In commodities, oil extended losses after posting its first weekly loss since late April. Brent crude was last down 2.25% at $37.86 a barrel while US crude fell 3.09% to $35.14.

Gold rose 0.2% to $1,732.2 an ounce on safe haven demand.

Oil investors await OPEC+ committee meetings of experts later this week who will advise the producer group and its allies on output cuts.