Asian stocks: On a slippery ground as coronavirus heavies the risk-tone

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  • Asian stocks drop to the lowest in three-weeks as coronavirus cases outside China rise.
  • Receding warning signs inside the dragon nation fails to placate traders.
  • South Korea, Italy and Japan grab major attention following the weekend headlines.

Asian stocks register broad losses with the MSCI Index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan revisiting the early-month lows, down -1.7%, ahead of the European session on Monday. That said, markets in Japan are off today but those from the rest of the Asia-pacific remain downbeat.

Among them, South Korea’s KOSPI seems to be the biggest loser, while being in 3.61% losses to 2,084, whereas equities from Australia and New Zealand follow the footsteps with each being more than 2.0% in red by the press time.

Shares in China and Hong Kong remain on the back foot while S&P 500 Futures drop 1.42% to 3,292 by the time of writing. Additionally, Malaysian equities are also 2.5% down with the speculations that Prime Minister Mahathir has submitted resignation to the king.

The risk-tone turned heavier following the weekend headlines suggesting a speedy rise in coronavirus cases outside China. The fears grabbed pace as Italy, the key to Europe, also stands in the queue. At home, the latest numbers signal receding geopolitical risk which in turn allowed policymakers in Beijing to lower emergency levels issued earlier during the month.

Even so, the traders will keep eyes on the coronavirus updates as the fears of the deadly epidemic to weigh on the global manufacturing cycle and growth remain strong.

It should, however, be noted that Germany’s IFO survey details and the US activity numbers from the regional Federal Reserve banks could also offer intermediate direction after Friday’s soft numbers strengthened worries that coronavirus is weighing on the key economies.

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