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By Gina Lee
Investing.com – Asia Pacific stocks were mixed on Tuesday morning. Along with the ongoing debate on central bank asset tapering, investors also weighed the impact of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases on the global economic recovery.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.90% by 9:45 PM ET (1:45 AM GMT), with markets reopening after a holiday.
South Korea’s KOSPI was down 0.55% while in Australia, the ASX 200 edged up 0.20%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 0.36%.
China’s Shanghai Composite edged down 0.18% while the Shenzhen Component gained 0.77%.
U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic fanned the asset tapering debate on Monday, saying that the central bank should move faster than in past episodes and begin the process with another month or two of strong employment gains.
Other Fed officials due to speak throughout the week are Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester and Kansas City Fed President Esther George. Investors now await further U.S. data, including the core consumer price index for July, due on Wednesday.
COVID-19, and its Delta variant specifically, also remains a concern as its global spread shows no signs of slowing down. The number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. climbed to its highest level since early February 2020, while the number of deaths also increased the most since December 2020.
“What we are experiencing right now is a pause in the recovery... investors should expect some volatility in the markets as we sort out what the Fed is going to do, as we sort out the Delta variant,” WealthWise Financial chief executive officer Loreen Gilbert told Bloomberg.