Asia stocks fall as delta variant worries take center stage

SINGAPORE (AP) — Asian stock markets are mostly lower as worries surrounding the spread of the delta variant again take center stage Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.7% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 1.5% on Friday. Benchmarks in Seoul and Shanghai fell, while Sydney’s inched higher. Traders are watching mounting infections around the world, including in New Zealand, which is in lockdown after reporting its first outbreak in six months. Wall Street closed out another choppy day of trading on Thursday. The benchmark S&P 500 started the day in the red before gaining 0.1% to 4,405.80.