Coronavirus News Asia

US-China tensions rattle markets – Asia Times


Asian markets fell in early deals on Monday amid rising tensions between the world’s two largest economies. A report said US President Donald Trump may block a government retirement fund from investing in Chinese equities on grounds of national security, while US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday “enormous evidence” showed the new coronavirus originated in a lab in China.

The market moves were exaggerated in thin trade as China and Japan are on holiday.

“Comments from the US’ Mike Pompeo about the origin of the coronavirus together with a suggestion from President Trump that he will impose tariffs on China because of the outbreak are not helping risk sentiment,” said Robert Carnell, regional head of research Asia Pacific at ING Bank.

The Hong Kong benchmark, the Hang Seng index, plummeted 3.6% as trading resumed following Friday’s holiday closure when Financial Secretary Paul Chan said that GDP will contract 4-7% in the current year.

A Moody’s Analytics forecast said Hong Kong’s GDP is expected to contract by 6.5% y/y in the March quarter, from a 2.9% decline in the December quarter.

“The dismal projection for Hong Kong’s growth is due to a larger than expected impact from the Covid-19 outbreak. While the economy has been successful in containing the localized spread, exports and travel and tourism have suffered significant setbacks, which, combined with the persistent issue of social unrest and weakened consumer confidence, are expected to deepen the slowdown seen through 2019,” Moody’s Analytics said in a note.

The Australian S&P ASX 200 rose 1% driven by healthcare and technology sectors even though oil prices edged lower. The overall mood remains sombre after Wall Street’s weak finish last week.

On Friday the Dow Jones fell 2.6%, the S&P 500 dropped 2.8%, and the Nasdaq index tumbled 3.2%. 


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *