China Stocks Plummet, As 17K Coronavirus Cases, First Death Outside The Country Confirmed

Markets in China tumbled significantly in early trade on Monday (Beijing time) over coronavirus fears. What Happened The markets opened after the Lunar holiday, which was extended due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, after having last traded on Jan

Benzinga · 02/03/2020 04:17

Markets in China tumbled significantly in early trade on Monday (Beijing time) over coronavirus fears.

What Happened

The markets opened after the Lunar holiday, which was extended due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, after having last traded on January 23.

The death toll from the virus increased to 361 by Sunday end, with 17,205 cases confirmed in mainland China alone, according to the official numbers posted by the Xinhua News Agency.

Another 15 cases were confirmed in Hong Kong, and eight in Macau. Neighboring Taiwan has seen 10 cases, according to Xinhua.

The first death from outside of China was reported on Sunday in the Philippines. The deceased was a 44-year-old man who had traveled from the Wuhan city in China, which is at the center of the outbreak.

He was one of the two confirmed cases of the virus in the country, the other being his travel companion, according to the Philippines authorities. No cases of local transmission have been confirmed yet.

About 150 other cases have been reported in 23 odd countries. Nine cases were confirmed in the United States by Sunday, including four in California alone.

Meanwhile, multiple countries continue to impose travel and visa restrictions on travel to and from China.

The People's Bank of China announced a host of measures aimed at market recovery on Sunday, including an injection of $174 billion into the economy through reverse repo operations, the South China Morning Post reported.

The move seemed to have a limited effect on the markets, as the banking authority also advised caution to the financial institutions on taking precautions against the coronavirus as they reopen.

Asia Stocks

Here's how the stocks in Asia performed at press time:

China's Shanghai Composite traded 7.8% lower at 2,744.39, while Shenzhen Component was down 7.87% at 9,841.66.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index traded 0.31% lower at 26,230.19. The index surged initially after the open above 1%.

Japan's benchmark index Nikkei 225 was down 0.96% at 22,981.99; South Korea's KOSPI traded 0.14% lower at 2,116.03.

Singapore's Straits Times Index dropped 0.96% lower at 3,123.49. India's NIFTY 50 traded 3.11% lower at 11,661.85; SENSEX was down 2.88%.

US Futures

The United States futures dropped significantly late Sunday after the poor performance of the markets in China.

Nasdaq 100 futures traded 1.72% lower at 9,058, with Dow Jones futures dropped 1.56% at 28,343.

S&P 500 futures were down 1.45% at 3,242.