Chinese stocks plunge on fears of coronavirus spread

중국증시 신종코로나 쇼크•••상하이지수 7.7% 폭락

Fear over the coronavirus triggered a massive drop in Chinese shares.
The rapid reaction comes after the stock market reopened in that country following the Lunar New Year holiday.
Oh Soo-young helps us look beyond the concerning digits.
Chinese stocks plunged on Monday,… wiping out hundreds of billions of dollars,… as investors reacted to the spread of the coronavirus.
The Shanghai Composite Index shed seven-point-seven percent,… closing at two-thousand-seven-hundred-and-forty-six-point-six-one.
This marks the biggest drop in over four years,… and according to calculations by Reuters, translates to a loss of nearly 420 billion dollars.
Meanwhile, the Shenzhen Composite Index, fell eight-point-four percent,… ending the session at one-thousand-six-hundred-and-nine.
This comes despite an attempt by the authorities to keep markets calm with a stimulus package of some 174 billion dollars.
Analysts say if the spread of the infectious disease isn’t soon contained,… the shock will spread to other Asian markets.
“The worst case scenario is that this Wuhan coronavirus rages on unchecked, like the Ebola crisis in West Africa several years ago. Then it may take China two or three years to recover and the economy will sink into recession and that will bring down Hong Kong and also Asian economies. Because China is the big elephant in the room right now.”
In South Korea, the benchmark KOSPI closed the session on Monday at 2-thousand-one-hundred-and-eighteen — down zero-point-zero-one percent from the previous session.
Japan’s Nikkei fell one-point-zero-one percent,… closing the day at 22-thousand-nine-hundred-and-seventy-one.
Meanwhile,… Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose zero-point-three-five percent,… recovering slightly from its losses the previous week.
Investors aren’t panicking just yet. But as economists predict the fallout of the coronavirus will last longer than the outbreak of SARS in the early noughties,… Asian markets in the meantime remain under pressure.
Oh Soo-young, Arirang News.

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