China stocks slip as virus outbreak raises trader concerns
Asian stock markets rebounded on Wednesday as China’s response to a virus outbreak fanned fears of a global pandemic. Shanghai shares dipped amid worries that impact would dampen domestic demand and tourism.
Fears of contagion, especially as millions of people travel abroad for the Lunar New Year holidays, pushed stocks from record peaks.
China’s National Health Commission said on Wednesday that they recorded 440 new cases of the virus with a total of nine deaths so far. Measures are now in place to minimize public gatherings in the most-affected regions.
The Shanghai Composite index recovered from an early 1.4% drop to trade 0.5% lower by afternoon. Meanwhile, markets outside China rose with the MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares up 0.5%.
Japan’s Nikkei, Korea’s Kospi index, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng all went up by 0.5% after heavy drops on Tuesday. In addition, Australia’s S&P managed to ease worries to hit a new record high.