Major stock markets in Asia mostly declined in Thursday afternoon trade, as investors were anxious about the spread and the economic impact of coronavirus. The death toll rose to 17, with nearly 600 cases confirmed, so far. Wuhan, the city in central China where the outbreak originated, is under a partial quarantine from 10:00 AM China time today, according to the latest government notice.
China’s Shanghai composite led losses, tumbling 84 points or 2.8% to 2,976, at around 03:40 PM China time. Also, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong slumped 515 points or 1.8% lower to 27,825, at around 03:42 PM Hong Kong time. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 shed 236 points or nearly 1% lower to end at 23,795, after data showed exports fell more than estimated in December, while imports shrank for 8th month.