Chinese stocks drop as Hubei virus cases reports double up
Chinese stocks dropped amid a surge in the number of new people infected by the coronavirus were reported in the Hubei province.
Seen as the province at the center of the epidemic, Hubei raised the death toll to an additional 242 as well as reported 14,840 new cases of the virus, an increase of 45% compared to the previous day.
However, the province said that the spike in numbers came in after it employed a new methodology that added “clinically diagnosed” cases in its figure. This method involves the use of CT imaging scans to diagnose patients.
“I think the market’s got to grapple with this new method of calculating cases,” Chris Watling, CEO of Longview Economics, said in a CNBC interview. ,
“I suspect they might look straight through it once they work out that it doesn’t sound like it’s more cases, it’s just a change in methodology,” Watling said.
The Shanghai Composite traded 0.2% lower by 10:30 PM ET (02:30 GMT), while the Shenzhen component fell 0.5%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dipped 0.3%. Meanwhile, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s shares were up about 0.2% as the company prepares to announce its quarterly financial results later in the day.