In currency markets, the Chinese yuan declined against the US dollar, hitting its lowest level in one and a half years. It pared some losses in the afternoon to stand at 6.71 per US dollar.
The losses came after the Dow dropped more than 1,100 points and the S&P 500 fell 3.7% Thursday, wiping out Wednesday’s gains as investors worried about the impact of rising US interest rates and the risk of a recession.
Investors in Asia are also jittery after the latest comments from China’s top leadership on its efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus.
President Xi Jinping said all levels of government must “resolutely” adhere to the country’s zero-Covid policy. He made the remarks during a meeting Thursday with the Communist Party’s Politburo Standing Committee — the nation’s top decision-making body.
Officials at all levels of government should “resolutely fight with any words and acts distorting, doubting and denying China’s Covid control policy,” Xi said.
“That may serve to dampen some hopes of any Covid-19 policy shift, which suggests that economic recovery will remain prolonged and uneven,” wrote Yeap Jun Rong, a market strategist at financial services firm IG Group, on Friday.
— Nicole Goodkind contributed to this report.
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