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Global Markets Slumping Thursday

An attendee wearing a mask to curb the spread of the new coronavirus is framed by flowers sent for the ceremony to mark the listing of on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange at the headquarters in Beijing on June 18, 2020.

Asian markets were mixed Thursday, ending another rally spurred by hopes of a robust economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Nikkei index in Tokyo fell 0.4 percent at the closing bell, while Hong Kong’s index, the Hang Seng, was down 0.2 percent and Shanghai’s Composite was up 0.1 percent in late afternoon trading.

Elsewhere in the region, Sydney’s S&P/ASX index was down 0.9 percent, Seoul’s KOSPI index was 0.3 percent lower, the TSEC in Taiwan is up 0.1 percent, and Mumbai’s Sensex is up 0.7 percent.

European markets are also getting off to a slow start, with the FTSE in London down 0.5 percent, Paris’s CAC-40 index 0.7 percent lower, and Frankfurt’s DAX index down 0.2 percent.

Global markets had surged earlier in the week after central banks in the United States and Japan pledged to buy corporate bonds to reinvigorate economic activity that was halted by the coronavirus pandemic. Investors were also cheered Wednesday by news that U.S. retail sales rose a record 17.7 percent in May.

But several U.S. states are reporting a rise in the daily number of COVID-19 infections, while Beijing is battling an outbreak that has led to quarantines on a handful of neighborhoods.

Oil is mixed in futures trading, with U.S. crude oil selling at $37.82 per barrel, down 0.3 percent, while Brent crude oil is selling at $40.73. Meanwhile, all three U.S. indexes were trending downward Thursday.