Asian Markets In Negative Territory After Wall Street Sell-off





Asian stock markets are in negative territory on Monday amid concerns about the rapid spread of the coronavirus and its impact on the global economy. According to Chinese health officials, the coronavirus outbreak has killed 361 people and infected 17,205 in the country. China's Shanghai Composite Index, which resumed trading after the extended Lunar New Year holidays, is tumbling more than 8 percent.


The Australian market is notably lower following the sharp losses on Wall Street Friday.


The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 105.70 points or 1.51 percent to 6,911.50, off a low of 6897.00 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is lower by 111.30 points or 1.56 percent to 7,009.90. Australian shares closed slightly higher on Friday.


Among the major miners, BHP is losing 3 percent, Fortescue Metals is lower by almost 3 percent and Rio Tinto is declining more than 2 percent.


Oil stocks are weak after crude oil prices declined Friday. Oil Search is falling 6 percent, Santos is losing more than 4 percent and Woodside Petroleum is down more than 2 percent.


WorleyParson's chief executive Andrew Wood is retiring and will be replaced by the company's chief operating officer Christ Ashton. The energy services company's shares are falling more than 7 percent.


Among the big four banks, ANZ Banking, National Australia Bank and Westpac are lower in a range of 2.0 percent to 2.4 percent, while Commonwealth Bank is down more than 1 percent.


Gold miners are higher even as safe-haven gold prices edged down on Friday. Evolution Mining is rising more than 2 percent and Newcrest Mining is advancing more than 1 percent.


AMP said it has appointed acting chief financial officer James Georgeson on a permanent basis after he was appointed on an interim basis in August 2019 following the resignation of CFO designate John Patrick Moorhead. The financial services company's shares are lower by more than 4 percent.


Among travel-related stocks, Qantas Airways and Flight Center Travel Group are declining more than 2 percent each.


On the economic front, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group revealed that the manufacturing sector in Australia continued to contract in January, and at a faster rate, with a Performance of Manufacturing Index score of 45.4. That's down sharply from 48.3 in December, and it moves further beneath the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.


The Australian Bureau of Statistics said that the total number of building approvals in Australia issued in December was down a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent on month in December, coming in at 14,752. That exceeded expectations for a decline of 5.0 percent following the 10.9 percent jump in November.


Australia will also release the inflation forecast from TD Securities and the commodity price index from the Reserve Bank of Australia today.


In the currency market, the Australian dollar was quoted at $0.6693 on Monday, down from $0.6719 on Friday.


The Japanese market is sharply lower while the safe-haven yen strengthened following the sell-off on Wall Street Friday.


The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 370.65 points or 1.60 percent to 22,834.53, after falling to a low of 22,775.92 in early trades.


Market heavyweight SoftBank Group Corp. is declining 1 percent and Fast Retailing is losing more than 4 percent.


Among tech stocks, Advantest is lower by more than 4 percent and Tokyo Electron is declining more than 3 percent.


The major exporters are lower on a stronger yen. Panasonic is losing more than 2 percent and Sony is declining more than 1 percent. Mitsubishi Electric and Canon are lower by almost 1 percent each.


Among auto stocks, Toyota Motor is declining more than 1 percent and Honda Motor is down almost 1 percent.


In the oil sector, Japan Petroleum and Inpex are lower by more than 1 percent each after crude oil prices declined on Friday.


Among the other major gainers, Ajinomoto is gaining more than 6 percent and Toto is rising more than 3 percent. Seiko Epson, Fujitsu and Chugai Pharmaceutical are higher by more than 2 percent each.


On the flip side, Unitika is losing almost 6 percent, while Toyota Tsusho, Isetan Mitsukoshi, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Nippon Sheet Glass and Alps Alpine are lower by more than 5 percent each.


The manufacturing sector in Japan continued to contract in January, albeit at a slightly slower rate, the latest survey from the IHS Markit revealed on Monday with a manufacturing PMI score of 48.8. That's up from 48.4 in December, although it remains beneath the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.


In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid 108 yen-range on Monday.


Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai is losing more than 8 percent, while Singapore, New Zealand and Taiwan are declining more than 1 percent each. South Korea, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Malaysia are also lower.


On Wall Street, stocks closed sharply lower on Friday amid lingering concerns about the coronavirus outbreak, as the death toll from the disease continues to rise. Chinese officials said 213 people have died from the coronavirus, while the number of confirmed cases has risen to more than 9,800. The U.K. and Russia have also confirmed their first cases of coronavirus infection, raising concerns about the rapid spread of the disease and the impact on the global economy.


The Dow plummeted 603.41 points or 2.1 percent to 28,256.03, the Nasdaq tumbled 148.00 points or 1.6 percent to 9,150.94 and the S&P 500 plunged 58.14 points or 1.8 percent to 3,225.52.


The major European markets also moved to the downside on Friday. While the French CAC 40 Index slumped by 1.1 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index both tumbled by 1.3 percent.


Crude oil futures drifted lower on Friday, weighed down by growing concerns about outlook for energy demand due to the rapidly spreading coronavirus' potential impact on the global economy. WTI crude for March delivery slid $0.58 or about 1.1 percent to $51.56 a barrel.

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