Shares in Hong Kong collapsed in their first session after the holidays amid worries over the coronavirus.
Hang Seng has fallen nearly 3% since its opening before recovering losses to 2.5%.
All companies in the index, which are tour operators or transportation companies, take serious damage. China Eastern Airlines is down 5.54%, China Southern Airlines is 5.36%. The insurance sector also suffers damage. AIA Insurance Company down 1.87%, China Life Insurance 4.27%. Casinos – Wynn Macau down 4.11%, Melco International Development also down nearly 5%.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has declared a state of emergency and the school vacation has been extended until February 17. All official visits have been canceled to China. The virus has so far killed 100 people and infected more than SARS.
Lam will also close the border with China, stopping all modes of transportation that are expected to happen today.
Because of Lunar NY, the Chinese markets remained closed today.
Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 retained positive territory by 0.54% growth, Topix by 0.25% and Kospi by 0.63%. Shares in Australia rose 0.64%. The MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded down 0.43%.
The US dollar remains strong in the Asian session, the Japanese yen is inferior to 109.19, the Australian dollar is trading at 0.6765. Oil opened with an increase – BRENT was up 0.96% and WTI 0.90%.
Trader Martin Nikolov