|Asian markets were subdued today, as surging coronavirus infections in India, Thailand and South Korea sapped appetite for investments in these markets. So, South Korea’s Kospi index and China’s Shanghai Composite index inched up 0.3 percent, each; Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed 1.1 percent and Signapore’s Straits Times index gained 0.2 percent. But Japan’s Nikkei-225 index fell 0.6 percent.
In Europe, key indices were trading weak, as a surge in global coronavirus cases offset strong earnings reports. Key indices, London’s FTSE-100 had shed 0.3 percent; France’s CAC-40 had fallen 0.2 percent and Germany’s DAX had slipped 0.4 percent, in intra-day trade.
Meanwhile, British retail sales jumped last month before a partial lifting of coronavirus restrictions, suggesting an economic rebound is underway, but official data also showed record peacetime government borrowing. Sales volumes leapt by 5.4 per cent in March from February with clothing retailers able to sell online.
Also, Britain’s government borrowed over 303 billion pounds in the 2020-21 financial year, which ended last month, a surge of 246 billion pounds on the previous year and the biggest share of the economy in peacetime.