SYDNEY, Australia - Stocks in Asia fell sharply on Monday as the reality that the coronavirus pandemic is far from over set in.
On Sunday the number of Covid-19 cases worldwide topped ten million. The Number of deaths cruised past 500,000, more than a quarter of which have occurred in the U.S.
"The market is caught in a real battle between recovery optimism and news of increasing cases in certain geographical areas such as the U.S," John Woolfitt, director of trading at Atlantic Capital Markets told the Reuters Thomson news agency Monday.
"I think this battle will remain until the U.S. get a handle on it."
At the close of trading Monday, the Nikkei 225 was down 517.04 points or 2.30% at 21,995.64.
The Australian All Ordinaries fell 96.20 points or 1.60% to 5,915.60.
China's Shanghai Composite dropped 18.03 points or 0.61% to 2,961.52.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng shed 248.71 points or 1.01% to 24,301.28.
The U.S. dollar put in a mixed performance in Asia Monday. The euro was stronger at 1.1278. The British pound was little changed at 1.2325. The Japanese yen was also motionless at 107.18.
The Swiss franc firmed to 0.9448.
The Canadian dollar weakened to 1.3662. The Australian dollar rose a fraction to 0.6874. The New Zealand dollar was unchanged at 0.6432.