Yen climbs, yuan falls as stocks drop due to China virus outbreak

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The Japanese yen climbed while Chinese yuan fell against US dollar as news of coronavirus outbreak in China raised concerns among investors, causing Asian stocks to fall.

The yuan fell against the USD in onshore and offshore trade as the fourth death due to the illness was confirmed. A Chinese health expert also warned that the virus can be passed from person to person.

Experts said that Asian stocks dropped due to worries about the virus outbreak, sparking risk-off trades that pushed up the yen.

 “So far, the number of deaths from the virus is low, so hopefully there will not be a big panic,” said Takuya Kanda, general manager of the research department of Gaitame.com Research Institute in Tokyo.

The yen climbed 0.2% higher, at 109.97 per dollar.

The yuan dropped to 6.8973 per dollar in the onshore market, the lowest in a week. It slid to 6.9007 in the offshore market.

The dollar index stood at 97.589.

Other currencies were also affected by the outbreak. The Australian dollar dropped to $0.6865, or 0.15%, while the New Zealand dollar budged to $0.6607. The Euro was at $1.10968.

The outbreak has already spread in the city of Wuhan, despite being in its early stages. But citizens worry it will further spread as the Lunar New Year holidays, the peak travel season, approaches.

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