Market Overview

Asia Markets, US Futures Slump As Coronavirus Cases, Deaths Rise Even More

Asia Markets, US Futures Slump As Coronavirus Cases, Deaths Rise Even More

The market rally in Asia on Thursday subsided, ending the slow recovery that the markets were seeing after an initial selloff due to coronavirus sentiments following the extended Lunar New Year holiday in China.

What Happened

The fears were renewed as Chinese authorities reported a nine times higher number of deaths on Wednesday compared to a day earlier. According to the official numbers posted by state-run Xinhua News Agency, at least 14,840 new cases and 242 new deaths were confirmed Wednesday.

A majority of the new cases were reported in the Hubei province of China, where the virus is said to have originated, and are mostly due to the change in diagnostic criteria, Xinhua noted.

The authorities are now using computerized tomography scans for an official diagnosis, which has effectively lowered the bar for counting the numbers, per Xinhua.

As the virus shows no sign of being under control more than a month after first coming to light, China's neighboring countries are seemingly becoming more vigilant.

The MS Westerdam cruise ship, that had many United States citizens on board, was denied the right to dock by four countries including Thailand, Philippines, Japan, and Taiwan this week, even as the ship's captain assured of no confirmed coronavirus case among those onboard, the Associated Press reported.

The ship finally docked today in Cambodia, the U.S. Ambassador to the country said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Japan has said that it will allow some of the older people on the Diamond Princess cruise, above 80 years of age, to leave the ship and complete the quarantine period, that ends February 19, offshore, according to Reuters.

Asia Stocks

China's Shanghai Composite Index and Shenzhen Component were both down about 0.7% at 2,906.07 and 10,864.32, respectively.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index traded 0.37% lower at 27.720.44.

Japan's benchmark index Nikkei 225 dropped 0.14% at 23,827.73, while South Korea's benchmark KOSPI was down 0.24% at 2,232.96.

Singapore's Straits Times Index was down 0.22% at 3,216.16. India's NIFTY 50 and SENSEX were both down about 0.4%.

US Futures

Dow Jones futures traded 0.46% lower at 29,387.00.
Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.6% at 9,568.25; S&P 500 futures dropped 0.47% at 3,364.75.


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