Asian markets are broadly lower Thursday as coronavirus fears return, and China announces it has quarantined Wuhan in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus. There are already 570 confirmed cases of the virus in China, and 17 deaths have been attributed to coronavirus. The U.S. has confirmed 1 case on Tuesday.
Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite is trading lower by 0.7% as the week-long market closure for the Chinese Lunar New Year is looming. The smaller cap, technology-focused Shenzhen Composite is 0.5% lower as well. Over in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng is leading losses for the Asian region as it trades down by 0.8%.
In Japan, the Nikkei is 0.5% lower as it heads into the lunch hour. A stronger Yen is contributing to the losses, as traders move into the safe-haven asset, and the stronger Yen weighs on shares of Japanese exporters.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 is down by 0.6% amid worries of the economic impact of the spreading coronavirus. Tech stocks are lower, and oil shares are falling after sharp losses for crude overnight. Gold miners are also falling, as gold hasn’t responded to haven demand in the face of the virus scare.
In Southeast Asia, the KLCI in Malaysia has dropped 0.2%, but Singapore’s Straits Times Index has a 0.2% gain, and the Jakarta Composite in Indonesia is creeping up by less than 0.1%.