Global markets recovered overnight with US stocks climbing as gains in Amazon and Nike as well as a surprise rebound in US factory activity helped markets attempt a recovery from steep weekly losses due to concerns about the coronavirus epidemic.
Chinese stocks took their steepest dive since 2015 as they resumed trading from the Lunar New Year holiday, missing out on earlier reactions to the growing fears permeating among equity investors about the outbreak of coronavirus. The Shanghai market index was down close to -8% after resuming trading for the first time since January 23.
Australia & New Zealand Market Movers
The Australian market was lower on Monday (ASX 200 Index -1.34%) as concerns about the economic impact of the coronavirus rippled through global markets. Asia dipped into the red on Monday, but Australia’s geographic proximity and strong economic relationship with China saw it fall heavier than most of its peers.
The emergence of the coronavirus is an added challenge for the Australian economy in early 2020 with risks to 1st quarter GDP growth figures already skewed to the downside amid the bushfire emergency. Mining stocks took a hit on Monday too, as base and bulk metal prices dropped amid concern investment from China would slow. Iron ore prices could continue to fall as Chinese restrictions on labour movement and logistics threaten to delay the seasonal restart of construction post Chinese New Year.
The New Zealand market started the week with a sell-off (-1.43%) as the coronavirus outbreak continued to weigh on investor confidence. Volatility continued across tourism facing stocks, with Tourism Holdings, Auckland Airport, Air NZ, and SkyCity shares once again taking a hit. Primary industries with exposure to China – New Zealand’s main trading partner – have felt the impact of the downturn. A2 Milk, Synlait Milk, and Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund fell on Monday.
By Chas Gunarathne