HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Asian markets rebounded on Tuesday spurred by fresh Wall Street records but investors remained jittery about the global economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak in China.
Eyes are on China as the world’s second-largest economy sputters back up after a forced extension to the Lunar New Year holiday because of the outbreak, which has killed more than 1,000 people and disrupted major global supply chains.
After a nervous start to the week that saw Asian bourses plunge, most bounced back.
Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index was up 1.2 percent in morning trade, Shanghai was up 0.4 percent, Sydney climbed 0.6 percent and Singapore rose 0.9 percent.
Seoul jumped 1.4 percent and Taipei rose 0.8 percent, while Wellington and Jakarta were also up.
Markets in Tokyo were closed for a public holiday.
The positive mood in Asia followed Monday rallies on Wall Street, where the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq hit fresh records.
The 2019-nCoV virus, which emerged in central China, has spooked equity and oil markets for weeks, having spread to more than two dozen countries.
More than 42,000 infections have been confirmed so far in mainland China, and President Xi Jinping has described the situation in Hubei, the outbreak epicentre, as “still very grave”.
Chinese authorities are expected to make policy interventions to help ease the economic hit from the virus, analysts said, which could boost market confidence.
“While… uncertainties remain around nCoV, one sure thing you can probably count on is that the mother of all stimulus measures will get laid down by the (Chinese central bank),” wrote Stephen Innes, chief market strategist for Asia-Pacific at AxiCorp.
Investors will also be looking to see any assessments about the economic impact of the outbreak in US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony to Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday.
A number of earnings reports are also expected this week, including from companies that could see a coronavirus hit.
Chinese tech giant Alibaba, Japanese automaker Nissan and MGM Resorts are among the firms scheduled to announce results on Thursday.
“We have to consider that the rebound in growth we were expecting over 2020 may be either delayed or somewhat less vigorous than we were anticipating due to the impact of the virus,” Mark Robertson of Aviva Investors told Bloomberg News.
Expectations of a decline in demand from China, which was already battling an economic slowdown, has caused oil prices to tumble in recent weeks as fears rose of excess supply.
But like Asian equities, both contracts rebounded on Tuesday. Brent Crude was up 1.4 percent while West Texas Intermediate rose 1.2 percent.
Key figures at 0330 GMT
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 1.2 percent at 27,559.15
Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.4 percent at 2,902.11
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: Closed for public holiday
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0915 from $1.0916 at 2145 GMT
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2918 from $1.2911
Euro/pound: DOWN at 84.49 pence from 84.50 pence
Dollar/yen: UP at 109.87 from 109.75
Brent Crude: UP 1.4 percent at $54.01 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: UP 1.2 percent at $50.14 per barrel
New York – Dow: UP 0.6 percent at 29,276.82 (close)
New York – S&P 500: UP 0.7 percent at 3,352.09 (close)
New York – Nasdaq: UP 1.1 percent at 9,628.39 (close)
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.3 percent at 7,446.88 (close)
— Bloomberg News contributed to this story —
© Agence France-Presse