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U.S. Stock Index Futures Fall Amid Growing Pandemic Concerns

(Bloomberg) — U.S. stock index futures dropped in Asia as the latest figures on the pandemic deepened concerns over the global economy.

Contracts on the S&P 500 declined 2.5% as of 2:45 p.m. in Tokyo. Futures on the Nasdaq 100 Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2% and 3%, respectively. On Friday, U.S. stocks rallied from the biggest rout in 12 weeks as dip-buyers emerged for firms that bore the brunt of Thursday’s selling.

“There is a definite risk-off tone to Asia’s financial markets this morning as the week gets underway,” Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at Oanda, wrote in a note. “Despite Wall Street stabilizing and finishing the week with a positive session, it appears that the FOMO, fast-money, peak-virus, buy-everything, v-shaped recovery herd remains nervously grazing near the edge of the cliff.”

An outbreak of cases in Beijing raised fears of a resurgence of the pandemic in China. Infections spread to a second fruit and vegetable market and more than 20 residential compounds across the city were locked down. Tokyo also saw infections climb, and South Africa posted record new cases for a second day. Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci suggested that bans on travel to the U.S. may remain until a vaccine arrives.

While U.S. stocks recovered Friday, all three major equity gauges fell for the week on concern over the pace of recovery following months of lockdown.

The potential for a second wave of infections “appears to be a much more immediate danger to markets,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets Asia Pacific.

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