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Asia Pacific Stocks Mixed As Coronavirus Outbreak Continues

Asia Pacific stocks mixed as coronavirus outbreak continues. Asia Pacific markets were mixed in afternoon trade on Wednesday after the coronavirus death tolls in the US and UK hit their highest level.

Mainland Chinese stocks fall, with Shenzhen composite down 0.313%. The Shanghai composite slipped 0.32% and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong also tumbled 0.99%.

Markets in Japan saw growth following an earlier slip. The Nikkei 225 gained 0.96% as stocks of index heavyweight Fast Retailing rose 6.29%. The Topix index surged 0.74%. South Korea’s Kospi was flat and the Kosdaq index advanced 0.67%.

However, Australia saw a turnaround after experiencing earlier losses with the S&P/ASX 200 rising by 0.3%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index fell 0.37%.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe announced a state of emergency to across the country amid a spike in coronavirus cases. Singapore also passed a set of laws restricting social gatherings of any size in both private and public areas.

According to estimates compiled by John Hopkins University, the coronavirus pandemic has affected more than 1.4 million while killed at least 81,000 people.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1% or 26.13 points at 22,653.86. The S&P 500 closed 0.2% lower to 2,659.41 and the Nasdaq Composite ended its trading day 0.3% lower to 7,887.26.

The afternoon of Asian trading hours, oil prices saw a turnaround, with international benchmark Brent crude futures surged 2.48% to $32.66 per barrel and the U.S. crude futures also added .59% to close at $24.95 per barrel.



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