Friday 7th February: Asian markets lose steam as Coronavirus toll mounts

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Global Markets:

  • Asian Stock Markets : Nikkei down 0.19%, Shanghai Composite down 0.23%, Hang Seng down 0.76%, ASX down 0.38%
  • Commodities : Gold at $1567.05 (-0.19%), Silver at $17.75 (-0.40%), Brent Oil at $55.30 (+0.67%), WTI Oil at $51.22 (+0.53%)
  • Rates : US 10-year yield at 1.632, UK 10-year yield at 0.588, Germany 10-year yield at -0.366

News & Data:

  • (NZD) Inflation Expectations q/q 1.93% vs 1.80% previous
  • (AUD) Trade Balance 5.22B vs 5.65B expected
  • (AUD) Retail Sales m/m -0.50% vs -0.20% expected
  • Xi: Has confidence to overcome virus & positive trend of economy remain unchanged
  • Japan’s household spending slumps as sales tax, weather weigh

Markets Update:

Asian stock markets are mostly lower on Friday after recent strong gains and despite an extended rally overnight on Wall Street. Investors turned cautious as they awaited the release of China’s January trade data as well as the U.S. monthly jobs data for January later in the day.

Lingering worries about the coronavirus outbreak also weighed on sentiment. China’s National Health Commission said that the death toll in the country related to the coronavirus outbreak has risen to 636, while the number of people infected has increased to 31,161. Meanwhile, Japan said that an additional 41 people on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in the port of Yokohama have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Mainland Chinese shares traded lower, with the Shanghai composite down 0.2%, the Shenzhen component lower by 0.1%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dropped 0.8%. Gaming stocks listed on the bourse fell as Macao temporarily shut down its casinos amid the pneumonia-like coronavirus outbreak.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 reversed gains to decline 0.2%, while the Topix was down 0.3%. Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.7%. Carmakers in Japan and South Korea declined amid worries that the virus outbreak, which led to widespread quarantine efforts in China, might hit the global supply chain for various industries as Chinese factories remain shut. Australia shares followed the downward trend, with the ASX 200 down 0.4%. Miners and oil stocks declined.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 98.442, climbing from levels near 97.600 earlier in the week. Oil and metal prices fell hard as the coronavirus outbreak gained pace and have been slow to recover.

Upcoming Events:

  • Tentative – (CNY) Trade Balance
  • Tentative – (CNY) USD-Denominated Trade Balance
  • 01:30 PM GMT – (CAD) Employment Change
  • 01:30 PM GMT – (CAD) Unemployment Rate
  • 01:30 PM GMT – (USD) Average Hourly Earnings m/m
  • 01:30 PM GMT – (USD) Non-Farm Employment Change
  • 01:30 PM GMT – (USD) Unemployment Rate