Asian Markets Lower, Europe Mixed as Investors Await New US Coronavirus Relief Bill

The continued stalemate in Washington over a new coronavirus relief package sent Asian markets mostly lower Wednesday.
Tokyo’s Nikkei index ended the day’s trading session 0.4% higher. The S&P/ASX index in Sydney dropped 0.1%. Seoul’s KOSPI index is up 0.5%, and the TSEC index in Taipei is down 0.8%.
In late afternoon trading, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 1.1%, Shanghai’s Composite is down 0.6%, and Mumbai’s Sensex is down 0.1%.
European markets have begun the day in mixed territory. The FTSE index in London is up 0.5% and the CAC-40 in Paris is up 0.1%, while the DAX in Frankfurt is down 0.1%.
In commodities trading, gold is selling at $1,942.30 an ounce, down 0.2%. U.S. crude oil is selling at $42.01 an ounce, up 0.9%, and Brent crude, the international benchmark, is selling at $44.94, also up 0.9%.
All three major U.S. indices are trending upward in futures trading.

Source: Voice of America


US Surpasses 200,000 COVID-19 Deaths

Volunteers planted 20,000 miniature U.S. flags on the grounds of the Washington Monument in the nation’s capital Tuesday, the day the nation reached 200,000 COVID-19 deaths. Each flag represented 10 victims who have perished since the virus first arriv…