Coronavirus: Asian markets bounce back slowly after heavy losses

Asian shares have bounced back after last week’s loses, with mainland Chinese benchmarks gaining 3% while Japan and Hong Kong also rose.

Stocks have been volatile as investors fret the coronavirus outbreak will derail the global economy but in those declines some see opportunities to buy.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index recovered from early losses, gaining 1.4% to 21,441.56, while the Shanghai Composite index rose 2.9% to 2,965.11.

The benchmark for the smaller exchange, in Shenzhen, jumped 3.4%.

South Korea’s Kospi climbed 1% to 2,007.57 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong jumped 0.9% to 26,371.21.

But shares fell in Australia, where the S&P ASX/200 lost 0.8% to 6,388.40 and in Taiwan, which fell 0.6%. Stocks were mostly higher in Southeast Asia, and Bangkok’s benchmark surged 0.9%.

“It may well be a case of news being not as bad as it could have been,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said.

“Today’s rallies across Asia have a definite relief rally look to them. Measured against the scale of last week’s sell-offs, the bounces this morning are small.”

Financial Markets Wall Street
Financial Markets Wall Street

Stocks sank on Wall Street on Friday, extending a rout that left the market with its worst week since October 2008.

The Dow fell 1.4% to 25,409.36, the S&P 500 slid 0.8% to 2,954.22, while the Nasdaq rose 0.1%, to 8,567.37.

The damage from the week of relentless selling was eye-popping: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 3,583 points, or 12.4%.

Microsoft and Apple, the two most valuable companies in the S&P 500, lost a combined 300 billion dollars (£235 billion).

In a sign of the severity of the concern about the possible economic blow, the price of oil sank 16%.