© Reuters.

By Gina Lee

Investing.com – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly down on Friday morning, as the latest regulatory tightening in China and the spread of COVID-19’s Delta variant globally sour investor sentiment.

China’s inched down 0.07% by 10:02 PM ET (2:02 AM GMT) and the was down 0.23%. China expanded its regulation tightening exercise to the real estate sectors, with private equity funds suspended from raising money to invest in residential property development.

The latest COVID-19 outbreak in the country also forced the partial shutdown of Ningbo-Zhoushan port, with about a repeat of 2020’s shipping challenges.

Hong Kong’s fell 0.66%.

Japan’s inched down 0.02% and South Korea’s slid 1.07%.

In Australia, the was up 0.48%.

Benchmark U.S. Treasury 10-year yields climbed to a one-month high thanks to a lukewarm 30-year auction.

As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, Asia Pacific is struggling to curb its latest outbreaks while Europe and the U.S. have pulled ahead in vaccination rates, pushing stocks to record levels.

“It’s really hard to keep people back, or put people back, in lockdown… there’s this pent-up demand and I think we are going to start to see that surge happen again,” Wells Fargo (NYSE:) Asset Management head of active equity Ann Miletti told Bloomberg.

However, the risk of a correction in equities after a prolonged period of calm remains, she added.

Investors also digested the latest U.S. economic data, released on Thursday. The grew 1% month-on-month in July, indicating that higher commodity costs and supply bottlenecks are still adding to inflationary pressures for companies. A total of 375,000 were also filed throughout the week, lower than the 387,000 claims filed during the previous week.

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