^N225 - Nikkei 225

Osaka - Osaka Delayed price. Currency in JPY
23,386.74
-92.41 (-0.39%)
At close: 3:15PM JST
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Previous close23,479.15
Open23,427.77
Volume0
Day's range23,378.33 - 23,588.55
52-week range20,110.76 - 24,115.95
Avg. volume59,833
  • Stocks Post Weekly Decline Amid Hunt for Safety: Markets Wrap
    Bloomberg

    Stocks Post Weekly Decline Amid Hunt for Safety: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks sank, gold surged and Treasury yields tumbled as investors took a defensive stance amid renewed concern about the economic impact of the coronavirus as it spreads outside of China.Tech companies were particularly hard hit, sending the Nasdaq 100 down almost 2%. The S&P 500 Index posted its first weekly decline since January. The yield on 30-year Treasuries fell to a record low amid data showing U.S. business activity shrank for the first time since 2013 as the virus hit supply chains.Investors were put on alert this week by a spike in infections outside China and a slew of fresh warnings by companies over the potential impact the deadly respiratory virus may have on business. The growing concerns reignited appetite for assets seen as havens from the turmoil and reversed stock gains that had sent the S&P 500 Index to a record high Wednesday.“Investors have suddenly got cold feet and are running for the exits,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist for MUFG Union Bank. “Bond yields and stock prices are back in sync today as the plunging markets mean the economic outlook is not looking as good this year as many thought.”The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slumped, with automakers among the worst performers, after equities in Korea and Hong Kong dropped more than 1%. Crude oil fell after hitting the highest in almost four weeks.Elsewhere, the yen strengthened, recouping some if its biggest two-day decline since 2017. The dollar slumped after a four-day winning streak. The euro strengthened after data showed economic activity in the common-currency area sped up unexpectedly.Here are some key events coming up:Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs are due to meet Feb. 22-23 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and are expected to discuss efforts to support growth amid the coronavirus threat.These are the main moves in markets:StocksThe S&P 500 Index dropped 1.1% at the close of trading in New York, leaving it down 1.3% this week.The Nasdaq 100 fell 1.9% Friday and 1.8% for the week.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.5%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.5%.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.3%.The euro rose 0.6% to $1.0848.The British pound advanced 0.6% to $1.296.The Japanese yen strengthened 0.5% to 111.59 per dollar.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries declined five basis points to 1.47%.The yield on 30-year Treasuries fell five basis points to 1.91%Germany’s 10-year yield rose one basis point to -0.43%.Britain’s 10-year yield was little changed at 0.57%.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude sank 0.8% to $53.34 a barrel.Gold strengthened 1.5% to $1,644.38 an ounce.\--With assistance from Michael G. Wilson, Robert Brand, Constantine Courcoulas and Todd White.To contact the reporter on this story: Vildana Hajric in New York at vhajric1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at canstey@bloomberg.net, Brendan WalshFor 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.

  • Some Asian Countries on Brink of Recession as Virus Spreads Outside China
    FX Empire

    Some Asian Countries on Brink of Recession as Virus Spreads Outside China

    Japan and Singapore are on the brink of recession and South Korea on Friday said its exports to China slumped in the first 20 days of February as the outbreak upends global supply chains.

  • Asian Traders Bracing for Further Volatility as Virus Spreads
    Bloomberg

    Asian Traders Bracing for Further Volatility as Virus Spreads

    (Bloomberg) -- A tentative recovery in Asian risk assets came to an abrupt end this week as the coronavirus spread outside China, and option markets suggest traders are bracing for more downside ahead.Expected price swings in Korean stocks and the won jumped to five-month highs as new cases surged in the country. The yen slumped to its weakest in 10-months against the dollar, yet Japan’s currency-sensitive stocks finished the week lower.“The sudden jump in infections in other parts of Asia, notably in Japan and South Korea, has sparked renewed concerns,” said Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Singapore. “This points to a new phase in the outbreak, and one which will see continued disruption and more economic impact than previously thought.”The rapid shift in sentiment marks a change from earlier in the month when investors adopted a buy-the-dip mentality as the pace of new cases declined in China. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index erased about half its virus-related losses from late January in the first two weeks of February.Now stocks are falling again as infections multiply outside of China and worries are growing the outbreak is entering a concerning next phase. Traders are bracing for more downside and measures of expected price swings are pushing higher.The Kospi 200 Volatility Index rose as much as 9% Friday to its highest since August, as South Korea reported more coronavirus cases that brought its total past 200. Japanese stocks closed mostly lower, erasing an early advance on yen weakness, and the Nikkei Stock Average Volatility Index hit its highest in more than two weeks.It doesn’t help that the concerns are mounting on a Friday, ahead of markets being shut for the weekend -- a situation that often makes traders nervous holding open positions because of the chance for potentially negative news to come out. Japan’s markets are also shut on Monday.“We have seen weekly seasonality recently where people look to cover risk ahead of the weekend to be prudent,” said Damien Loh, chief investment officer at Ensemble Capital Pte in Singapore. “I think this is partly the case.”Meanwhile, in the heart of the outbreak, Chinese stocks saw modest gains as the number of new infections continued to slow. But it’s still the elephant in the room.“Given the situation we are in, volatility is to be expected until we understand the impact on the Chinese economy when numbers come out next month,” said Justin Tang, head of Asian research at United First Partners in Singapore. “The light at the end of the tunnel is that workers are returning back to their posts.”\--With assistance from Cormac Mullen, Lilian Karunungan and Chester Yung.To contact the reporters on this story: Joanna Ossinger in Singapore at jossinger@bloomberg.net;Ishika Mookerjee in Singapore at imookerjee@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at canstey@bloomberg.net, ;Tan Hwee Ann at hatan@bloomberg.net, Cormac MullenFor 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.

  • Asia Pacific Shares Tumble on Apple Guidance Reduction, HSBC Pre-Tax Profit Miss
    FX Empire

    Asia Pacific Shares Tumble on Apple Guidance Reduction, HSBC Pre-Tax Profit Miss

    Apple Inc. said it will not meet its revenue guidance for the March quarter as the coronavirus outbreak slowed production and weakened demand in China. Europe’s largest bank, HSBC, reported a 33% fall in 2019 pre-tax profit to $13.35 billion after it took a goodwill impairment of $7.3 billion.

  • Yen Pares Loss on Apple Announcement, Pound Falls: Markets Wrap
    Bloomberg

    Yen Pares Loss on Apple Announcement, Pound Falls: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) -- The Japanese yen pared its earlier decline after Apple Inc.’s announcement that it would miss revenue guidance for the March quarter because of the coronavirus outbreak in China. The pound fell after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s envoy attacked the EU’s stance ahead of trade talks.Elsewhere, European equities climbed alongside U.S. index futures on Monday following China’s pledges to support its economy in the face of the coronavirus outbreak. Carmakers led a modest gain in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, while HSBC Holdings Plc climbed before reporting earnings Tuesday. Health-care giant Bayer AG dropped after losing its first U.S. trial over the herbicide dicamba. Contracts on the three main American indexes increased, though Wall Street was shut for a holiday and Treasuries didn’t trade. European bonds were mixed. The euro pared an earlier gain after closing at its lowest since early 2017 on Friday, while the dollar was steady against a basket of its biggest peers. Global iPhone supply will be temporarily constrained as conditions in China return to normal more slowly than expected, Apple said in a statement on Monday. The announcement followed China’s plans to reduce corporate taxes and fees, which helped push up the benchmark CSI 300 Index. The index has now recouped its losses from an almost 8% tumble when trading resumed after the Lunar New Year break. The momentum failed to buoy other Asian markets, however, as stocks dipped in Seoul and Sydney while Japan’s Topix Index dropped after news the country’s economy shrank the most since 2014 last quarter.Investors in risk assets are beginning the week on the front foot after China’s central bank also said it will let banks run up more non-performing loans. Bloomberg Economics estimated the country’s economy ran at just 40% to 50% capacity in the past week, underscoring the short-term damage done by the coronavirus. Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., which counts on China and Hong Kong for about half of its revenue, gave a “significant” profit warning and blamed the pathogen.“If the Chinese economy does recover and you’ve added all this fiscal and monetary stimulus into it as well, the situation could be that you have much stronger emerging markets into the second half,” Sunny Bangia, a fund manager at Antipodes Partners Ltd., said on Bloomberg TV. “A lot depends on how this virus gets contained and if it can morph into something more minor.”Hubei, the province at the epicenter of the outbreak, reported 1,933 new cases, slightly higher than a day earlier. Concern also built around reports that more than 3,000 travelers on two coronavirus-stricken Carnival Corp. cruise ships are returning home, fanning out to more than 40 countries. Singapore’s government cut its growth forecasts, citing uncertainty over the length and severity of the outbreak. The country is expected to unveil a large stimulus package to mitigate the economic hit.Elsewhere, Bitcoin fell as much as 8.4% from Friday, slipping back below $10,000. WTI crude oil held at about $52 a barrel.Here are some key events coming up:Earnings season rolls on with results from companies including: Glencore Plc, HSBC Holdings Plc and Walmart Inc. on Tuesday; Deere & Co. results are set for Friday.Germany’s ZEW survey of investor confidence is due Tuesday.Minutes of the most recent Federal Reserve meeting are published on Wednesday.Indonesia is expected to cut interest rates on Thursday, following emerging-market peers from Brazil to South Africa which have lowered borrowing costs already this year.These are the main moves in markets:StocksThe Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.3% as of 4:40 p.m. New York time.Futures on the S&P 500 Index increased 0.2%.Nasdaq 100 Index futures climbed 0.4%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.3%.The MSCI World Index was little changed.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.The pound fell 0.3% to $1.3003The euro was little changed at $1.0835.The yen weakened 0.1% to 109.88 per dollar.The offshore yuan strengthened 0.1% to 6.9845 per dollar.BondsGermany’s 10-year yield was unchanged at -0.403%.Britain’s 10-year yield advanced one basis point to 0.639%.France’s 10-year yield declined one basis point to -0.165%.Japan’s 10-year yield slipped one basis point to -0.033%.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude gained 0.5% to $52.33 a barrel.Gold weakened 0.2% to $1,581.13 an ounce.LME aluminum decreased 0.1% to $1,721 per metric ton.Iron ore advanced 1.2% to $88.80 per metric ton.\--With assistance from Andreea Papuc and Adam Haigh.To contact the reporter on this story: Todd White in Madrid at twhite2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at canstey@bloomberg.net, Yakob Peterseil, Sebastian BoydFor 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.

  • Asian Markets:  China Shares Rise on Fresh Stimulus Measures; Japan Bracing for Recession
    FX Empire

    Asian Markets: China Shares Rise on Fresh Stimulus Measures; Japan Bracing for Recession

    The Shanghai Index rose after China’s central bank cut the interest rate on its medium-term lending on Monday. The Nikkei 225 Index stumbled after official data showed the economy shrank in October-November at the fastest pace since the second quarter of 2014.

  • U.S. Woman From Cruise Falls Ill as 2,200 Head Home: Virus Update
    Bloomberg

    U.S. Woman From Cruise Falls Ill as 2,200 Head Home: Virus Update

    (Bloomberg) -- The illness of an 83-year-old U.S. cruise-line traveler with the coronavirus has raised concern as more than 2,200 passengers and crew head home after being trapped at sea for almost two weeks.The first coronavirus death outside Asia, a Chinese tourist in France, and new cases in Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia suggest no let up in the outbreak.The UN’s top doctor warned the virus is unpredictable as he called for nations to get all units of government involved.Key DevelopmentsChina’s total people affected: 66,492; deaths: 1,523WHO says virus path ‘impossible to predict’Westerdam passengers blocked from leaving MalaysiaU.S. senators urge emergency funding for responseEurope Suffers First Virus Death as Fatalities Move Beyond AsiaU.S. plans to evacuate Americans on board the Diamond Princess cruise shipU.K. releases eight of nine infected patientsLocking People Up to Stop Virus Spread Could Prompt Legal FightsClick VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the novel coronavirus and here for maps and charts. For analysis of the impact from Bloomberg Economics, click here.WHO Chief Urges Broader Response (3:45 p.m. NY)World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged the international community on Saturday to make their response to the coronavirus government-wide.“This is not a job for health ministers alone. It takes a whole-of-government approach,” he said in a speech at the Munich Security Conference. “That approach must be coherent and coordinated, guided by evidence and public health priorities.”The WHO chief again praised China, saying the steps taken by the Beijing government are encouraging.“China has bought the world time. We don’t know how much time,” he said. “We’re encouraged that outside China, we have not yet seen widespread community transmission.”Liner Passengers Can’t Leave Malaysia (2:45 p.m. NY)Some passengers from the Westerdam luxury liner were blocked from leaving Malaysia after an 83-year-old U.S. woman from the ship tested positive for the coronavirus, the Dutch RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment said by phone.The travelers who left when the ship docked in Cambodia and headed to Malaysia were denied boarding an Amsterdam-bound flight from Kuala Lumpur, according to the Dutch foreign ministry. Two were Dutch citizens, both RIVM and the foreign ministry said. They remained in Malaysia, along with a group of Dutch citizens that may have had contact with the infected woman, who also remains in the country. The RIVM estimates 11 people weren’t able to board.Holland America, which operates the liner, on Saturday said everyone on the ship was tested on Feb. 10 and none had an elevated temperature, and during the cruise “no indication” of the coronavirus was evident.The ship with more than 2,200 passengers and crew was allowed by Cambodia to dock in the port city of Sihanoukville on Friday after being turned away by countries including Japan and Thailand over fears it harbored the coronavirus. The company said 236 customers and 747 crew remained on the ship on Saturday after many took charter flights to Phnom Penh to start trips home.A number of Dutch citizens are home and will be monitored daily by local authorities. The Holland America line ship had 91 Dutch passengers, a spokesman for the RIVM said.Democrats Urge Extra U.S. Virus Funds (12:30 p.m. NY)The Trump administration was “strongly urged” by Senate Democrats to seek emergency funding to fight the coronavirus, and in a letter released Saturday they criticized officials for not being forthcoming about the costs of U.S. action.A decision this month by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to shift $136 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other units showed a “need for more resources,” senators led by Patty Murray of Washington state wrote to the White House, even as administration officials “continue to assert that there are already sufficient resources.”Emergency funding would cover states’ costs to implement federal orders such as travel screening and quarantines, the lawmakers said.Ship Passengers to Be Isolated in U.S. (11:30 a.m. NY)The approximately 400 U.S. citizens aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess in Japan, who are to be evacuated by the State Department, will be housed separately from other Americans who earlier returned from China and are under 14-day isolation orders.The ship’s passengers will be screened for the coronavirus before they leave the ship in Yokohama, before takeoff, during the flight and when they land at Travis Air Force Base in California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Saturday. Screening will continue for passengers transferred to Lackland base in Texas.Canada Sends 3 to Diamond Princess (11 a.m. NY)Canada’s Public Health Agency is sending three officials to assess the situation on Carnival Corp.’s Diamond Princess, quarantined in Yokohama, as more passengers are diagnosed with the coronavirus. The ship is the largest infection cluster outside China.Global Affairs Canada is working with Japan to determine next steps, spokesperson Barbara Harvey said in an email on Saturday.Some 3,500 people are on the ship. An additional 67 cases have been found, the Japanese health minister said, pushing total infections to almost 300.Westerdam Passenger Has Virus (9:55 a.m. NY)An 83-year-old U.S. citizen has been diagnosed with the coronavirus after traveling on the Westerdam, a Holland America Line ship that finally docked in Cambodia after being spurned by multiple countries.The woman and her husband were among 145 passengers who flew to Malaysia on Friday, the country’s health ministry said in a statement. She was found with symptoms and sent to a hospital where she’s in isolation in stable condition. Her 85-year-old husband tested negative but placed under observation.The Westerdam, a luxury liner, arrived in Sihanoukville early Thursday with more than 2,200 passengers and crew.Virus Path ‘Impossible to Predict’ (9:45 a.m. NY)All nations must be ready to handle coronavirus cases and prepared to prevent further transmission, according to the head of the World Health Organization.“It’s impossible to predict what direction this epidemic will take,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement at the Munich Security Conference.“We’re concerned by the continued increase of the number of cases in China,” he added, saying there has been a “lack of urgency” from the international community in funding a response.“Most of all, we’re concerned about the potential havoc this virus could wreak in countries with weaker health systems,” Tedros said. “We must use the window of opportunity we have to intensify our preparedness.”U.K. Releases All But One Patient (8:30 a.m. NY)The U.K. discharged all but one of the nine patients being treated for the coronavirus after twice testing negative, the government said Saturday. A center in Milton Keynes, north of London, still has 100 people, the NHS said.All 94 people being kept in in quarantine in Wirral after returning from China also have been released, according to the statement.5 New Singapore Cases (8 a.m. NY)Singapore confirmed five new cases of the coronavirus, all linked to previous cases, the Ministry of Health said Saturday, increasing the total people infected to 72.Epidemic Poses ‘Severe Challenges’ to China (6:44 a.m. NY)“The epidemic has posed a severe challenge to China’s economic and social development,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at the Munich Security Conference. “Nonetheless, the difficulties will be temporary and short-lived. With its strong resilience and vitality, the Chinese economy is well-positioned to overcome all risks and challenges. The fundamentals sustaining sound economic growth have not changed and will not change.”Death in France First From Disease in Europe (6:15 p.m. HK)An 80-year-old Chinese tourist died in Paris, becoming the first fatality of the coronavirus in Europe, France’s health ministry said. The man’s daughter, 50, was also infected and remains in a hospital in Paris. There are now 10 remaining cases in France and four of those have been released from hospital after recovering from the virus, Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said on Saturday.China is Testing Vaccines on Animals (5 p.m. HK)China is testing some vaccines against the coronavirus on animals, Zhang Xinmin, an official with the science and technology ministry, said at a press conference on Saturday. Vaccine research has been given top priority by the central government and the ministry has coordinated with several departments to find a solution.Earlier, China said it’s administering its centuries-old traditional medicine along with Western medicines on patients affected by the coronavirus disease. Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM as the method is called, was applied on more than half of confirmed cases in Hubei. To read the full story, click here.Why Reports of Drugs for Coronavirus Are Premature: QuickTakeU.S. to Evacuate Citizens from Diamond Princess (4 p.m. HK)The State Department will evacuate its citizens and their families from the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship that’s been quarantined in Japan, the American embassy in Japan said. The ship is the largest infection cluster outside China, with an additional 67 cases reported on Saturday.Chartered aircraft will bring American passengers and crew back to the U.S., where they will be quarantined for two weeks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the liner has appropximately 400 U.S. citizens.To read the full story, click here.Isolation in Beijing (3:30 p.m. HK)The city of more than 21 million residents told people to quarantine themselves at home for two weeks in the latest attempt to keep the deadly coronavirus from spreading. New arrivals should stay at home for observation for 14 days because it’s sometimes unclear to authorities which provinces they may have visited or transited in, He Qinghua, an official with the ministry of public health, told reporters. He did not specify who exactly the quarantine would apply to.To read full story, click here.Lunar New Year Travel Market Plunged (3:15 p.m. HK)Air, rail and road travel market got slammed during the peak Lunar New Year season as fears about the spreading coronavirus prompted people to abandon trips.Passenger travel would likely fall 45% on-year during the 40-day travel season that ends Feb. 18, the transport ministry said. Between Jan 25. and Feb. 14, airlines carried an average of 470,000 people a day, only a quarter of last year’s volume. Passengers from Feb. 15-23 were only a tenth of the peak period.Read full story here.Cash is Quarantined Too (1:45 p.m. HK)China cut off the transfer and allocation of old bank notes across provinces, and between cities most affected by the deadly outbreak, according to Fan Yifei, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China. The central bank also ramped up measures to sanitize old money to reduce contagion risks and added 600 billion yuan ($85.9 billion) of new cash for Hubei, the epicenter of the coronavirus, he said.WHO is Arriving in Beijing (1:30 p.m. HK)The World Health Organization and other international experts will arrive in Beijing this weekend. They will visit three provinces and cities to learn about virus protection and control measures and will make suggestions, the National Health Commission said on its website.PBOC Says Virus Won’t Cause Large Price Increases (11:44 a.m. HK)The virus outbreak is putting pressure on price stability because production has been delayed, but it won’t lead to large-scale inflationary pressures, China’s central bank said.The People’s Bank of China’s stance is unchanged and it will maintain prudent monetary policy, Deputy Governor Fan Yifei said in Beijing Saturday. The central bank is confident the effects of the outbreak can be dealt with, and the economy can be kept stable, according to a statement released before the briefing.New Zealand Extends Travel Restrictions (9:45 a.m. HK)New Zealand said temporary restrictions on travel from China have been extended for a further eight days, calling it “a precautionary approach” and a matter of public health. The country is preventing foreign nationals traveling from, or transiting through, mainland China from entering, and the position will be reviewed every 48 hours.Most Critical Time, says Health Commission Official (9:15 a.m. HK)China is entering the most critical time in its fight to contain the spreading coronavirus, Wang Hesheng, deputy director of the National Health Commission, said during a televised briefing from Wuhan. While Wang didn’t elaborate on the comment, outside of Hubei, the number of new confirmed cases have declined for the past 10 days, according to Liang Wannian, an expert at the NHC. Several other provinces have sent 217 medical teams to Wuhan as of Feb. 14, Wang said.Apple to Reopen Shanghai Store (9 a.m. HK)Apple Inc. would open one of the seven stores it has in Shanghai starting today, according to a company statement. The maker of iPhones had earlier said it will reopen stores in Beijing, according to an earlier announcement.Trump Says Xi ‘Working Very Hard’ (5 a.m. HK)President Donald Trump said Chinese leader Xi Jinping is “working very hard” on controlling the outbreak.“It’s a tremendous problem. But they’re very capable and they’ll get to it,” Trump said at a Washington event Friday with Border Patrol agents, noting he has spoken with Xi.Of Americans with the virus, “many of them are getting better. Some are fully recovered already. So we’re in very good shape,” he said.Wuhan Sharply Tightens Lockdown of Residents (1 p.m. NY)Wuhan tightened its quarantine on residents and said people will be confined to their neighborhoods except to seek medical care, work to fight the outbreak or keep vital services going. Wuhan has opened quarantine centers to house thousands of patients and others with symptoms, and Hubei province, where the city is located, has announced thousands of new cases a day, according to a statement.Wuhan residents will now be allowed to leave residential compounds only for medical care. Other cities that have put lockdowns in place have allowed people to leave every few days to buy food. Neighborhoods will be barricaded off to keep people from getting in or out, and non-residents won’t be able to enter neighborhoods that aren’t theirs.Researchers Publish New Images of the Virus (9:54 a.m. NY)U.S. researchers published new images of the coronavirus, some of the most detailed visuals yet of the pathogen.The images were released Thursday by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. They were made with scanning and transmission electron microscopes.To see more of the images, click here.\--With assistance from Pavel Alpeyev, Chelsea Mes, Yinan Zhao, Niu Shuping, Iain Rogers, Michael Bellusci and Wout Vergauwen.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Jing Yang in Shanghai at jyang251@bloomberg.net;Dong Lyu in Beijing at dlyu3@bloomberg.net;Steve Geimann in Washington at sgeimann@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Anand KrishnamoorthyFor 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.

  • U.S. Stocks End Week at Record After Strong Earnings, Fed Signal
    Bloomberg

    U.S. Stocks End Week at Record After Strong Earnings, Fed Signal

    (Bloomberg) -- Nothing has been able to stop the streak of records in U.S. stocks.During a week when the coronavirus threatened to become a pandemic that thwarts global growth, the S&P 500 Index advanced four out of five days, posting three records along the way. Investors found comfort in solid economic data, better-than-expected earning reports and a signal that the Federal Reserve stands ready to act if needed.The benchmark for American equities jumped 1.6% in the week, ending at an all-time high. All 11 groups advanced, led by companies that pay high dividends as bond yields remained persistently low. Nvidia Inc. had its best week since 2017 after fourth-quarter results beat expectations. U.S. markets are closed Monday for a holiday.While uncertainty about the deadly virus that’s put China’s economy in a halt remained high, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank is monitoring the fallout from the pandemic. Adding to investor optimism data showing retail sales strengthened for a fourth consecutive month, putting consumers on track to support further economic growth.“What we’re seeing here with the new highs in the market is optimism that coronavirus will not hit global GDP perhaps as much as initially expected,” said Jeff Zipper managing director at U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management, which has about $181 billion in assets under management. “Then you have earnings coming in better-than-expected. And then you have a Fed on the sidelines which has helped the market.”Economic data Friday showed retail sales rose in January for a fourth straight month as cheaper prices at the gas pump encouraged Americans to spend on other goods, underscoring steady consumer spending. Next week, Walmart Inc. is set to give investors an insight into the state of the consumer. Machinery giant Deere & Co. is also set to issue an update on its quarterly results.Oil rose above $52 a barrel in New York, and the dollar kept close to its level versus a basket of peers. Gold gained and the yen held steady. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index closed lower Friday but was also up for the week. The euro steadied near a 2017 low after data showed the region’s economy grew a scant 0.1% in the fourth quarter, matching forecasts. Major Asian equity markets climbed except for those in Tokyo and Mumbai.“As virus concerns continue to linger, and presumably will be a focal point in the near future, U.S. retail health is largely immune from the virus, so we likely won’t see any impact on this data, especially this early,” said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E-Trade Financial. “What’s really important for investors to remember is that fundamentals are strong and our economy still continues to grow -- debunking expectations of 2020 stagnation, at least for now.”While Beijing reported a smaller increase in virus cases in the epicenter of Hubei versus the previous day, they were still more than before counting methodology was changed. That’s clouded the picture of the outbreak in a week that’s seen Chinese airlines put workers on leave and firms such as drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc warn of a tougher outlook because of the disease.Nonetheless, investors anticipate a possible V-shaped economic recovery from the virus, even as the effects continue to be felt. Nearly 86,000 domestic and international flights in and out of China were canceled from Jan. 23 to Feb. 11. That’s 34% of scheduled services.Hubei reported almost 5,000 new cases, a day after confirming nearly 15,000. The death toll in China was at 1,380, lower by more than 100 to account for some double-counting. The World Health Organization has said the surge in diagnoses didn’t necessarily indicate a spike in infections.These are the main moves in markets:To contact the reporters on this story: Elena Popina in Hong Kong at epopina@bloomberg.net;Vildana Hajric in New York at vhajric1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Andrew DunnFor 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.

  • Asian Stocks Mostly Higher; Singapore PM Sees Possible Recession from Coronavirus Impact
    FX Empire

    Asian Stocks Mostly Higher; Singapore PM Sees Possible Recession from Coronavirus Impact

    On Friday, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the coronavirus’ economic impact on the island nation’s economy has already exceeded that of SARS in 2003, according to a report by local publication The Straits Times.

  • U.S. Stocks Fade After Fed Announces Repo Cuts: Markets Wrap
    Bloomberg

    U.S. Stocks Fade After Fed Announces Repo Cuts: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. equities had a turbulent Thursday, fluctuating between gains and losses on mixed news about the coronavirus outbreak, only to fade after the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said it will further shrink repurchase agreement operations.The Fed news late in the trading day erased what had been a small gain for S&P 500 Index, which closed lower for the first time this week. The benchmark had bounced back from session lows after the World Health Organization said a surge in coronavirus diagnoses didn’t necessarily indicate a spike in infections.China recently deployed a revised methodology to diagnose the virus, sending the number of confirmed cases soaring, but many of those cases could be days or weeks old, according to the WHO. Traders are still trying to gauge the outbreak’s effect on the economy.“It’s too early to tell the overall impact on U.S. markets. We seem to continue to be strong and U.S. consumers continue to be strong,” Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA, said by phone. “The question now is, how quickly can the virus get under control and can China limit the extent and get things back to normal as quickly as possible?”The New York Fed said it would shrink repo operations starting with Friday’s overnight offering. The Fed has been conducting repo offerings and Treasury-bill purchases in a bid to keep control of short-term interest rates and bolster bank reserves. The efforts had calmed markets since a September spike. Treasuries trimmed their gains for the day.The euro traded near the lowest since 2017, while the U.K. pound gained and gilts retreated after Sajid Javid quit as Chancellor of the Exchequer. The FTSE 100 Index also declined.Earlier, stock gauges in Japan, Shanghai, Hong Kong and South Korea all declined, though shares in Australia edged higher. Oil climbed even as the International Energy Agency said the coronavirus means global demand will drop this quarter for the first time in over a decade.Here are some key events coming up:China and the U.S. on Friday are scheduled to lower tariffs on billions of dollars of respective imports as part of the trade deal signed last month.These are the main moves in markets:\--With assistance from Chester Yung, Cormac Mullen, Livia Yap, Adam Haigh and Yakob Peterseil.To contact the reporter on this story: Vildana Hajric in New York at vhajric1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Andrew DunnFor 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.

  • Global Equity Markets Lower on Coronavirus Fears; China Makes Moves to Boost Economy
    FX Empire

    Global Equity Markets Lower on Coronavirus Fears; China Makes Moves to Boost Economy

    Global equity markets are down on Thursday as investors trim positions in risky assets and move money into the safety of the Japanese Yen.

  • Stocks Close at New High With Virus Concern Easing: Markets Wrap
    Bloomberg

    Stocks Close at New High With Virus Concern Easing: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. equities closed at record highs on Wednesday as optimism grew that the global economy can recover from the impact of the coronavirus amid signs the spread of the illness is slowing. Crude rallied and Treasuries fell.The S&P 500 Index gained for the third straight session, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite Index also hit new heights, after China’s Hubei province reported the lowest number of new virus cases this month and suspected infections on the mainland declined.“The virus is an uncertainty, but it seems to be more of a manageable uncertainty and I think that’s the way that the market is looking at it,” said Chuck Cumello, chief executive officer of Essex Financial Services, which has about $2.8 billion in assets under management.Carmakers and banks led the advance in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, even as data showed a deep slump in euro-area industrial output at the end of last year. Asia saw gains for most equity benchmarks, with those in Shanghai and Hong Kong outperforming.Oil climbed above $51 a barrel in New York, holding that advance even after OPEC slashed forecasts for global demand and U.S. inventories came in higher than estimated. Raw materials including copper and iron ore gained, while core European bonds tracked Treasuries lower and the yen also slipped. New Zealand’s dollar jumped the most in about two months after its central bank said the impact from the virus will be short-lived and it doesn’t project a need for rate cuts this year.Confidence is increasing among some investors that the impact of the coronavirus outbreak will ultimately prove short-lived. President Xi Jinping vowed China would meet its economic goals while winning the battle against the virus that has now claimed 1,115 lives, while Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Tuesday the central bank is keeping a close eye on fallout from the epidemic.Meanwhile, peripheral European bonds bucked declines and the yield on 10-year Greek debt dropped below 1% for the first time.Here are some key events coming up:Earnings season continues with reports still due from the likes of Alibaba, Nissan, Credit Suisse, Airbus, Nestle and AIG.Thursday brings a gauge of underlying U.S. inflation, the core consumer price index. It is forecast to increase to 0.2% in January, a faster pace than in December.China and the U.S. on Friday lower tariffs on billions of dollars of respective imports as part of the trade deal signed last month.These are the main moves in markets:\--With assistance from Robert Brand.To contact the reporters on this story: Vildana Hajric in New York at vhajric1@bloomberg.net;Claire Ballentine in New York at cballentine@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Dave Liedtka, Andrew DunnFor 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.

  • Asian Markets Post Solid Gains While Experts Differ on Coronavirus Peak
    FX Empire

    Asian Markets Post Solid Gains While Experts Differ on Coronavirus Peak

    While Chinese health officials said the situation was World under control, the Health Organization (WHO) warned the epidemic posed a global threat potentially worse than terrorism.

  • U.S. Stocks Hit Record Despite Coronavirus Fears: Markets Wrap
    Bloomberg

    U.S. Stocks Hit Record Despite Coronavirus Fears: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. equities started the week strong as investors looked past the potential economic hit from the spreading coronavirus to prepare for more corporate earnings.The S&P 500 Index rose to a new high Monday, with most sectors advancing. Energy company shares proved the exception, declining as West Texas crude fell below $50 a barrel. Treasuries and European bonds edged higher, and the dollar held steady versus a basket of its major peers.Asia’s main equity gauges fell everywhere apart from Shanghai. Traders monitored the restart of Chinese factories and the possible chaos that may ensue as several hundred thousand people begin returning to work at companies like Apple Inc. supplier Foxconn. General Motors Co. will restart production in China beginning Feb. 15.With cases of the coronavirus outside of China on the rise and various companies pulling back from international meetings, investors are trying to figure out whether the rate of contagion is stabilizing. In the meantime, monetary authorities across emerging markets have stepped in to help shore up the financial system. The People’s Bank of China moved to keep liquidity ample Monday through reverse-repurchase agreements.“As disconcerting as the spread of the coronavirus has been to date, the global focus on the illness is likely to produce a solution to stem its spread before long,” John Stoltzfus, chief investment strategist at Oppenheimer Asset Management, wrote in a note. “Economic data released last week underscored strength and resilience in the U.S. labor market and pointed toward the sustainability of the U.S. economic expansion.”The euro declined after the region was buffeted by political headlines. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s succession plan collapsed, and polls put Sinn Fein in place for a possible role in Ireland’s government, depressing the country’s banking stocks. European equities closed higher.Earnings are due this week from major names like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Credit Suisse Group AG and Nestle SA.Elsewhere, emerging-market currencies steadied against the dollar. Bitcoin traded just below $10,000, having risen above that mark over the weekend for the first time since October.Here are some key events coming up:Earnings season continues with reports including: MGM Resorts and Cisco Systems on Monday; Softbank on Wednesday; Thursday will bring Alibaba, Nissan, Credit Suisse, Airbus, Nestle and AIG.Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell delivers his semiannual testimony in Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday; ECB President Christine Lagarde speaks at the European Parliament in Strasbourg Tuesday.Thursday brings a gauge of underlying U.S. inflation, the core consumer price index. It’s expected to increase to 0.2% in January, a faster pace than in December.China and the U.S. on Friday lower tariffs on billions of dollars of respective imports, as part of the trade deal signed last month.And these are the main moves in markets:\--With assistance from Cecile Vannucci, Adam Haigh and Todd White.To contact the reporters on this story: Claire Ballentine in New York at cballentine@bloomberg.net;Vildana Hajric in New York at vhajric1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Sam Potter, Andrew DunnFor 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.

  • Asian Shares Mostly Lower, but China’s Shanghai Index Posts Modest Gain
    FX Empire

    Asian Shares Mostly Lower, but China’s Shanghai Index Posts Modest Gain

    China’s factory-gate prices snapped six months of year-on-year declines in January, although prolonged business closures from the coronavirus outbreak mean positive momentum is unlikely to persist.

  • Financial Times

    Grab and Gojek scramble to curb coronavirus spread in Singapore

    As Singapore intensifies its response to the coronavirus outbreak, ride-hailing leaders Grab and Gojek find themselves on the front lines of efforts to stop the spread of the infection. Singapore barred entry on January 29 for people with a Chinese passport issued in Hubei province and those who travelled recently to Hubei, adding to existing border measures such as screening individuals for body temperature. Singapore had 28 confirmed cases as of February 5; its first cases were all Chinese nationals from Wuhan, the centre of the outbreak, but later cases were transmitted locally.

  • U.S. Stocks Retreat After Torrid Run; Bonds Rise: Markets Wrap
    Bloomberg

    U.S. Stocks Retreat After Torrid Run; Bonds Rise: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. equities limped into the weekend as renewed concern the coronavirus will slow global growth overshadowed fresh signs of a strong labor market. Treasuries jumped.The S&P 500 Index halted a four-day rally, but still notched its best week since June. The latest jobs report showed hiring stayed robust last month, bolstering optimism growth can persist. But stocks remained lower after reports of further infections, an increase in deaths and more quarantines.The Federal Reserve warned the outbreak posed a “new risk” to the economy. The fallout for companies is starting to come into focus, with corporations such as Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. temporarily halting operations in China. Apple Inc.’s iPhone maker Foxconn told employees not to return to work when China’s extended break ends Monday.The 10-year Treasury yield slumped below 1.6% and crude lost its grip on $51 a barrel.“The market moved up so quickly over the last few days and I think papered over the continued risk associated with the coronavirus,” said Robin Anderson, senior global economist at Principal Global Investors. “There’s still a lot of unknowns out there.”Australia’s dollar dropped to its lowest level in a decade with the fallout from the coronavirus hurting riskier assets. Equities pushed lower across most of Asia as news of further infections on a cruise ship off Japan offered another reminder that cases remain on the rise. Singapore boosted its disease response to the second-highest level, the same one for the SARS epidemic. Confirmed cases worldwide now total 31,432, having risen more than 3,000 in one day, while the death toll reached 638.Meanwhile, the presidents of China and the U.S. reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of a phase-one trade deal in a phone call Friday.And these are the main moves in markets:StocksThe S&P 500 Index decreased 0.5% as of 4 p.m. New York time.The Nasdaq 100 fell 0.5%.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 0.3%.The MSCI AC Asia Pacific Index fell 0.7%.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained 0.2%.The British pound fell 0.3% to $1.2896.The euro fell 0.3% to $1.0946.The Japanese yen strengthened 0.2% to 109.77 per dollar.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries fell seven basis points to 1.57%.The two-year rate dropped to 1.4%Britain’s 10-year yield fell one basis point to 0.57%.Germany’s 10-year yield dipped two basis points to -0.39%.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude fell 1% to $50.42 a barrel.Gold futures added 0.3% to $1,574.20 an ounce.Copper fell 1.7% to $2.55 a pound.\--With assistance from Adam Haigh, Cormac Mullen, Constantine Courcoulas and Todd White.To contact the reporters on this story: Claire Ballentine in New York at cballentine@bloomberg.net;Vildana Hajric in New York at vhajric1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Potter at spotter33@bloomberg.net, ;Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Brendan WalshFor 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.

  • Asia Pacific Shares See Red on Profit-Taking Ahead of Weekend; China Trade Data on Tap
    FX Empire

    Asia Pacific Shares See Red on Profit-Taking Ahead of Weekend; China Trade Data on Tap

    Some analysts and economists are downgrading China’s GDP growth forecast for 2020 as the coronavirus outbreak hits the world’s second largest economy. Chinese government economist said that the country’s first-quarter economic growth may drop to 5% or even lower.

  • Stocks Climb to Records With Virus Impact Unknown: Markets Wrap
    Bloomberg

    Stocks Climb to Records With Virus Impact Unknown: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks continued their relentless push higher even as the economic impact from the deadly coronavirus remains murky. Treasuries were mixed and gold advanced.The S&P 500 Index’s four-day rally hit 3.7% as major equity benchmarks added to all-time highs on the strength of solid corporate results and signs that central banks stand ready to act if growth falters. The torrid ascent has some firms warning about a sense of euphoria taking over among investors, especially as the coronavirus epidemic continues to spread and China’s economy remains virtually locked down. Treasuries edged higher and gold climbed in a sign of some demand for haven assets.In corporate news, Boeing spiked 3.6% after saying it fixed a software bug in its grounded plane. Twitter Inc. rallied 15% after topping projections for fourth-quarter revenue. Strong results helped powered the Stoxx Europe 600 Index to a record. Crude oil edged above $51 a barrel in New York.“A lot of the moves this week have been explained by a relief rally that the coronavirus seems to be slowing somewhat, clearly there was a lot of uncertainty embedded in market behavior coming in,” said Mark Heppenstall, chief investment officer at Penn Mutual Asset Management. “It does still have a number of question marks still out there.”Here are some key events coming up:German industrial production is due on Friday.The U.S. employment report for January is set for Friday release.Australia’s central bank chief speaks and takes questions at a parliamentary committee.And these are the main moves in markets:StocksThe S&P 500 Index rose 0.3% as of 4 p.m. New York time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased 0.4%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 1.8%.The MSCI Emerging Market Index gained 1.3%.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.2%.The euro fell 0.2% to $1.098.The onshore yuan was little changed at 6.9708 per dollar.The Japanese yen fell 0.1% to 109.98 per dollar.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries fell one basis point to 1.65%.Germany’s 10-year yield fell one basis point to -0.37%.Japan’s 10-year yield rose two basis points to -0.024%.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.5% to $51.01 a barrel.Gold futures rose 0.5% to $1,570 an ounce.\--With assistance from Yakob Peterseil and Adam Haigh.To contact the reporter on this story: Claire Ballentine in New York at cballentine@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Potter at spotter33@bloomberg.net, Brendan Walsh, Jeremy HerronFor 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.

  • Asia Shares Jump after China Announces Tariff Reduction
    FX Empire

    Asia Shares Jump after China Announces Tariff Reduction

    Retaliatory duties on some U.S. goods will be cut from 10% to 5%, and from 5% to 2.5% on others, according to a statement from China’s Ministry of Finance.

  • Asian Shares Nudge Higher as Investors Await Further China Government Stimulus
    FX Empire

    Asian Shares Nudge Higher as Investors Await Further China Government Stimulus

    Stocks were supported by liquidity moves from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) earlier in the week and reports of a massive upcoming stimulus package from China’s government.

  • U.S. Stocks Surge, Treasuries Sink on Economy Bets: Markets Wrap
    Bloomberg

    U.S. Stocks Surge, Treasuries Sink on Economy Bets: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks rallied the most since August, while Treasuries plunged as investors speculated the global economy will withstand any impact from the still-spreading coronavirus after China’s market sell-off eased.The S&P 500 pushed its two-day gain to 2.2% and the Nasdaq 100 Index hit an all-time high as investors piled back into risk assets after last week’s rout. European and emerging-market shares rallied. Shanghai stocks rebounded from a record $720 billion wipeout. Treasuries tumbled with gold. Copper in London halted a 14-day slide. Oil bucked the trend, erasing gains that topped 2%. In company news, Tesla Inc. extended its torrid run, jumping 14%.Pete Buttigieg was leading narrowly in long-delayed results in the Iowa caucuses Tuesday, appearing to cement his status as a credible moderate alternative to Bernie Sanders. after an extraordinary rise from little-known mayor of a small Indiana city to the top tier of the presidential race. Vermont Senator Sanders rallied his enthusiastic voter base to the second spot in the first contest for the Democratic nomination with 62% of the precincts reporting.Investors appear to be taking some comfort from the measures Beijing has taken to contain the virus to Hubei province and to support economic growth. Still, travel restrictions continue and business shut-downs mount, with Macau closing casinos for another two weeks. Bulls have focused on strong corporate earnings and assurances of support from central banks.“The lesson of today’s stock market rally is that while the coronavirus is a risk, it is not a material risk to the economic outlook which backstops corporate earnings always,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist for MUFG Union Bank. “Coronavirus doesn’t increase the odds of a U.S. recession this year.”Here are some key events coming up:Euro-zone PMI data in its final version will be released Wednesday.The Reserve Bank of India’s interest rate decision is due Thursday.The U.S. employment report for January is set for Friday release.These are the main moves in markets:StocksThe S&P 500 jumped 1.5% as of 4 p.m. in New York.The Nasdaq 100 added 2.3% to a record.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index surged 1.6%.The MSCI All-Country World Index rose 1.6%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index surged 1.4%.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index edged lower.The British pound gained 0.4% to $1.304.The euro dropped 0.2% to $1.1043.The Japanese yen weakened 0.7% to 109.50 per dollar.The offshore yuan strengthened 0.3% to 6.9944 per dollar.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries gained seven basis points to 1.60%.The two-year yield added six basis points to 1.41%.Germany’s 10-year yield climbed three basis points to -0.41%.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.9% to $49.68 a barrel.Gold futures weakened 1.5% to $1,558.20 an ounce.LME copper surged 2.2% to $5,648 per metric ton.Arabica coffee surged 1.7% to $1 a pound.To contact the reporters on this story: Jeremy Herron in New York at jherron8@bloomberg.net;Claire Ballentine in New York at cballentine@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Potter at spotter33@bloomberg.net, Jeremy Herron, Dave LiedtkaFor 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.

  • Global shares edge higher on Chinese support measures
    Reuters Videos

    Global shares edge higher on Chinese support measures

    Edging back towards a three week high, Asian shares reversed losses on Monday (February 17) thanks to further efforts from Beijing to cushion the blow from a coronavirus outbreak. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.3%. China's blue-chip index jumped 2% after the country's central bank lowered one of its key interest rates and injected more liquidity into the system. Beijing also announced plans to roll out targeted and phased tax and fee cuts. Fears about the jolt to the world economy still lingered though. Restrictions were tightened further in China's worst affected province, with most vehicles banned from the roads and companies told to stay shut until further notice. Japanese stocks faltered. The Nikkei stumbled 0.7% after the country's economy shrank at the fastest pace in almost six years in the December quarter. The hit to the world's third-largest economy comes as the coronavirus damages output and tourism, stoking fears Japan may slump into a recession. In Europe, sentiment was up following Beijing's support measures. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.3% in early trade. But given so many European companies depend on China as part of their supply chain, local markets are expected to trade cautiously as they await concrete news on whether the outbreak will dent China's long-term growth outlook.

  • China to halve tariffs on some U.S. imports as virus risks grow
    Reuters Videos

    China to halve tariffs on some U.S. imports as virus risks grow

    China is to halve additional tariffs levied against over 1,500 U.S. goods. It's the latest move in a truce between the world's two largest economies after a bruising trade war, and follows the signing of a Phase 1 deal. But it's also being seen as a move by Beijing to boost confidence amid a coronavirus outbreak that has disrupted businesses. China's finance ministry said that from February 14th, additional tariffs levied on some goods will be cut to 5% from 10%, and others lowered to 2.5% from 5%. It said the reductions correspond with those announced by the U.S, on Chinese goods. The news was welcomed by financial markets, and comes as Beijing seeks to shore up investor and business confidence while the outbreak casts uncertainty over the economic outlook. The yuan hit its highest in two weeks, while Asian stocks rallied after the announcement. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan jumped 1.6%, and Japan's Nikkei rose 2.3%. The tarriff relief added to hopes the global economy may be able to avoid a major shock from the rapidly-spreading coronavirus, which has killed over 500. But casting fresh doubt was the prospect raised in a local media report that Beijing could invoke a disaster-related clause in the trade agreement. That might allow China to avoid repercussions even if it can't fully meet the targeted purchases of U.S. goods and services for 2020.