Analysts said that the deadly incidents in France had weighed negatively on investor sentiment, causing stock prices to weaken and monies to be shifted to more secure or defensive assets, including the U.S. dollar. Defensive demand pushed bond prices higher and yields lower.
“There is no doubt that the attacks in Paris will contribute to short-term investor nervousness,” said Shane Oliver, Sydney-based strategist at AMP Capital Investors, quoted by Bloomberg.
Share dealers were anticipating that consumer sentiment may be hit. Particularly weaker were the stocks of airlines and travel firms.
Economic data also showed that Japan had entered a new recession, after recording two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.
“Risk aversion is on the rise and we are seeing broad-based U.S. dollar strength across the board and this may continue until the year end as recent economic data has also disappointed,” said Mitul Kotecha, head of Asian FX and rates strategy at Barclays in Singpore, quoted by Reuters.
At noon Hong Kong time the Hang Seng index was down 1.63%% at 22,031.16; Japan’s Nikkei was down 1.03% at 19,394.39 and Australia’s ASX, down more than 2% on Friday, was down 0.63% at 5,019.30.
At the same time, the VIX index of stock volatility on New York’s S&P 500 Index, often known as the fear gauge, was up 9.3%% at 20.08.
The dollar, traditionally a safe haven in troubled times, was fractionally weaker against the Japanese Yen, but otherwise was up against many other currencies. A stronger dollar is generally bad for Hollywood as it reduces the value of overseas revenues that are remitted to the U.S.