Stocks markets in Asia retreated on Tuesday afternoon, after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Monday that it was convening an emergency meeting on the coronavirus that spread quickly across China. At the same time, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its global growth forecast for 2019, 2020 and 2021, due to negative surprises to economic activity in a few emerging market economies, notably India, and the impact of increased social unrest.

The Shanghai composite in China fell 39 points or 1.2% to 3,057, at around 12:20 PM China time. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index tumbled 732 points or 2.6% to 28,067, at around 12:20 PM Korea time, following Moody’s downgrade. Also, Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 224 points or 0.9% lower to 23,860, at around 01:58 PM Japan time, after the Bank of Japan left its key short-term interest rate unchanged at -0.1% during its January meeting. The KOSPI index in South Korea shed 17 points or 0.8% lower to 2,245, at around 01:57 PM Korea time.