Asian shares rise on optimism that China’s economy will ride out effects of outbreak

Asian shares rose Wednesday on optimism that China’s latest actions may help curtail some of the expected economic damage from the virus outbreak.

Asian Shares

  • The Shanghai composite up 1.25% to around 2,818.09.
  • The Shenzhen component index rose 2.14% to 10,305.50.
  • The Shenzhen composite added 2.48% to about 1,678.63.
  • The Chinext start-up board was up more than 3% to around 2,180.29.
  • Japan’s Nikkei 225 advanced 1.02% to 23,319.56.
  • The Topix index added 1.04% to 1,701.83.
  • In South Korea, the Kospi index erased some of its near 1% gains to trade up 0.36% at 2,165.63.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gave up most of its gains of around 0.83% earlier to trade up 0.27%.

Currency Markets

  • In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded at 98.004 against a basket of peers, climbing from a low of 97.787 in the previous session
  • The Australian dollar was flat around $0.6738.

Oil Prices

Oil prices advanced during Asian hours on Wednesday.

  • U.S. crude was up 0.87% at $50.04 a barrel
  • Brent advanced 0.96% to $54.48. 

OPEC and its allies could cut production by more than a million barrels a day, according to some experts. The producer group is said to likely bring forward a planned policy meeting from March to February, which would underscore the serious worries over a double-digital collapse in the price of oil this year.

For the year, U.S. crude is down more than 19% while Brent is lower by 18%, and there are worries that the coronavirus outbreak will significantly curb demand. Moody’s Analytics said in a note that at current prices, “commodity producers will soon begin to cut back on production and investment.”

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