SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific declined on Tuesday following investor jitters overnight on Wall Street over a new coronavirus strain in the U.K.
Mainland Chinese stocks fell on the day. The Shanghai composite shed 1.86% to 3,356.78 while the Shenzhen component fell 1.787% to 13,882.30. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slipped 0.71% to close at 26,119.25.
Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.05% to close at 6,599.60. Australia's retail sales jumped 7% in November as compared with October on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to preliminary figures released by the country's Bureau of Statistics.
Following that data release, the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7558, after an earlier high of $0.759.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.87%.
Oil prices also dropped in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures shedding 1.45% to $50.17 per barrel. U.S. crude futures declined 1.58% to $47.21 per barrel.
Developments surrounding the coronavirus pandemic likely continued to weigh on investor sentiment, following the discovery of a new Covid strain in the U.K. that has prompted tighter lockdowns and travel restrictions across Europe.