Asian Stocks Tumble on Virus Angst; Bonds Gain: Markets Wrap

25 Feb by Vitaliy Dadalyan

Asian Stocks Tumble on Virus Angst; Bonds Gain: Markets Wrap

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Asian Stocks Tumble on Virus Angst; Bonds Gain: Markets Wrap(Bloomberg) — Stocks in Asia fell after another epic rout on Wall Street and in the wake of a further escalation in coronavirus cases in South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy.The won slumped towards its weakest since 2016, leading Asian currency declines. Stock benchmarks fell over 1% from Seoul and Tokyo to Hong Kong and Shanghai. That’s still less than the 3% plunge overnight in the U.S., which took the S&P 500 Index to its worst two-day slide since 2015. Ten-year U.S. Treasury yields remained near Tuesday’s record low. The offshore yuan dipped, and the yen retained gains.South Korea said its national total for coronavirus cases is now more than 1,000, up from just 51 a week ago. American health officials on Tuesday warned that they expect the epidemic to spread in the U.S., news that extended the sell-off in stocks. The virus and the market reaction has also entered U.S. politics. President Donald Trump tweeted that “Stock Market starting to look very good to me!” after the close on Monday. Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren by contrast said the plunge in the stock market is only the “tip of the iceberg” of a growing economic threat from the coronavirus.Meantime, traders are monitoring for any signs of policy accommodation as the global economy absorbs the blow of virus-linked shutdowns. U.S. central bankers are closely monitoring the spreading virus, but it is “still too soon” to say whether it will result in a material change to the outlook, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said Tuesday. Traders nevertheless are betting on further easing.“The ultimate impact remains entirely unknown at this stage,” said Eleanor Creagh, a Sydney-based strategist at Saxo Capital Markets. “And uncertainty is the enemy of conviction.”Elsewhere, crude oil remained around $50 a barrel after slumping for two straight sessions.These are some key events coming up:Earnings keep rolling in from companies including: Peugeot SA on Wednesday; Baidu Inc., Best Buy Co. Inc., Occidental Petroleum Corp. and Dell Technologies Inc. on Thursday; and London Stock Exchange Group Plc on Friday.The Bank of Korea announces its policy decision on Thursday, with rising risks of an interest-rate cut.U.S. jobless claims, GDP and durable goods data are out Thursday.Japan industrial production, jobs, and retail sales figures are due on Friday.These are the main moves in markets:StocksFutures on the S&P 500 Index added 0.1% as of 10:22 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge fell 3% on Tuesday.Japan’s Topix index retreated 1.5%.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.5%.The Shanghai Composite fell 1.2%.South Korea’s Kospi index retreated 1.5%.Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 2.1%.CurrenciesThe yen was flat at 110.16 per dollar.The offshore yuan dipped 0.1% to 7.0332 per dollar.The euro bought $1.0874, little changed.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries fell one basis point to 1.34%.Australia’s 10-year yield lost about three basis points to 0.90%.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude oil added 0.5% to $50.17 a barrel.Gold rose 0.6% to $1,644.70 an ounce.\–With assistance from Elizabeth Stanton.To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Haigh in Sydney at [email protected] contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at [email protected] more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.