Asia shares inch up, coronavirus anxiety keeps investors edgy

Asian shares saw gains on Tuesday as investors continued to weigh the economic impact of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak which has already taken more than 1,000 lives.

Asian Shares

  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led gains among major markets regionally as it surged 1.37% as of its final hour of trading.
  • Mainland Chinese stocks saw gains on the day, with the Shanghai composite up 0.39% to around 2,901.67 and the Shenzhen component advancing 0.37% to 10,768,63. The Shenzhen composite rose marginally to approximately 1,758.02.
  • South Korea’s Kospi gained 1% to close at 2,223.12 with shares of LG Chem surging 6.85%.
  • The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia finished its trading day 0.61% higher at 7,055.30 as almost all sectors gained. Shares of medical device firm Cochlear, however, tumbled 3.39% after the company reduced its outlook for fiscal year 2020 due to the outbreak’s impact in the Greater China region, one of the main markets for the company.
  • Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index jumped 0.95%.
  • Markets in Japan were closed on Tuesday for a holiday.

Currencies

  • The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 98.867 after seeing an earlier high of 98.877.
  • The Japanese yen traded at 109.89 per dollar, off levels below 108.6 seen last week.
  • The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6713 after touching an earlier low of $0.6679.

Oil Prices

  • Oil prices jumped in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark.
  • Brent crude futures up 1.22% to $53.92 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also gained 1.09% to $50.11 per barrel.

Source cnbc.com

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