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Asian Stocks Hammered As Countries Face Economic Shutdown Due To Pandemic

Asian Stocks Hammered As Countries Face Economic Shutdown Due To Pandemic

Markets in Asia saw tremendous losses on Monday as countries continue to impose widespread lockdowns to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Stocks in India saw the biggest drop as the country prepares for a possible outbreak. SENSEX was down 11.34% at 26,522.54 at press time, and NIFTY 50 dropped 11.07% at 7,775.90, forcing the shutdown of trading desks.

The country's capital Delhi and financial center Mumbai have been put under lockdown as the number of cases has increased to 425 in a short span of time, according to the data from Johns Hopkins University.

Singapore announced Monday that it would ban all short-term visitors to the country temporarily, with the country's flagship carrier Singapore Airlines Ltd. (OTC: SINGF) canceled up to 95% of all its flights, CNBC reported.

The country's prime minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak in the country is far from over, and the government continues to coordinate its response carefully, as reported by The Star.

Singapore's benchmark index Straits Times Index traded 7.89% lower at 2,224.09.

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison warned citizens of a lockdown that could stretch to six months, according to CNBC.

"There will be no more going to the pub after work, no more going to the gym in the morning, and no more sitting down for brunch at a cafe," Morrison told the country's parliament, as nearly 1,700 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the country.

Neighboring New Zealand imposed a similar lockdown, although the country has seen a relatively less number of coronavirus cases at 102.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index closed 5.62% at 4,546 and New Zealand's NZX50 closed 7.59% at 8,498.70.

South Korea reported the lowest number of new COVID-19 cases in 24-hours on Sunday at 64, signaling that the outbreak may have bottomed out in the country.

Its benchmark index KOSPI was down 5.34% at 1,482.46.

China, where no domestic cases were reported in the 24 hours on Sunday, saw its stock market plummet in line with the wider global markets.

Shanghai Composite traded 3.11% lower at 2,660.17, while Shenzhen Component was down 4.52% at 9,691.53. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index traded 4.88% lower at 21,691.34.

Japanese stocks bucked the trend. The country's benchmark index Nikkei 225 added 2% by press time at 16,887.78.

The futures contracts in the United States too dropped significantly ahead of Monday's opening bell, suggesting a lower open in the regular session.


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