SYDNEY/NEW YORK- Asian stocks slipped on Tuesday as investors adjusted risk exposure heading into the US election and as a deadline for Washington to pass an economic stimulus bill approached while Europe reported record daily coronavirus infections.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.11 percent lower after US stocks ended the previous session in the red.
Australian and Japanese markets also dipped and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe was 0.09 percent lower.
Chris Weston, the head of research at Melbourne brokerage Pepperstone, said while there were worries about the US stimulus package, recent declines were likely due to positioning ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.
“Do you really want to hold those exposures into what could be a volatility event?” Weston said. “We’re getting into the Wild West territory where it becomes more whippy.”
Caution among investors globally was also driven by rising concerns about the risk of a disputed US election outcome.
“Such an event would very likely upset global markets considerably until the US reaches an accepted resolution,” said American Century co-CIO Keith Creveling.
Japan’s Nikkei slipped 0.34 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index bucked the trend to rise 0.16 percent.
Investors await key earnings results later in the week for companies including Netflix Inc and Tesla Inc.
They were also waiting to see if the final debate between US President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden on Thursday shifts the trajectory of the election.