AP

Asia stocks fall on virus fears after Wall Street plunge

Feb 27, 2020, 9:10 PM
Stocks reflect declines on monitors as people work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thur...
Stocks reflect declines on monitors as people work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
(AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Asian stock markets fell further Friday on spreading virus fears, deepening an global rout after Wall Street endured its biggest one-day drop in nine years.

Tokyo’s benchmark fell by an unusually wide margin of 3.4% and Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul all dropped by more than 2%. Oil prices slumped further on expectations industrial activity and demand might decline.

Investors who had been confident the disease that emerged in China was under control have been jolted by outbreaks in Italy, South Korea and Iran. They worry the virus is turning into a global threat that might derail trade and industry.

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index is down 12% from its all-time high a week ago.

A growing list of major companies are issuing profit warnings and say factory shutdowns in China are disrupting supply chains. They say travel bans and other anti-disease measures also are hurting Chinese consumer spending.

Virus fears “have become full-blown across the globe as cases outside China climb,” said Chang Wei Liang and Eugene Leow of DBS in a report.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 tumbled to 26,157.36 while the Shanghai Composite Exchange lost 2.9% to 2,904.92. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 2.3% to 26,157.36.

The Kospi in Seoul fell 2.2% to 2,007.89 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 sank 2.3% to 6,502.6. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets also retreated.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 fell 4.4% to 2,978.76.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average 1,190.95 points, its largest one-day point drop in history, bringing its loss for the week to 3,225.77 points, or 11.1%. To put that in perspective, the Dow’s 508-point loss on Oct. 19, 1987, was equal to 22.6%.

The U.S. losses extended a slide that has wiped out gains major indexes posted this year. Investors came into 2020 feeling confident the Federal Reserve would keep interest rates at low levels and the U.S.-China trade war posed less of a threat to company profits after the two sides reached a preliminary agreement in January.

U.S. bond prices soared as investors fled to safe investments. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell as low as 1.246%, a record low, according to TradeWeb. When yields fall, it’s a sign that investors are feeling less confident about the strength of the economy.

China shut down much of its economy to stem the spread of the infection.

Most access to the city of Wuhan, a manufacturing hub at the center of the outbreak, was suspended Jan. 23. The Lunar New Year holiday was extended to keep factories and offices closed. The government told the public to stay home.

Authorities are shifting to trying to reopen factories and other businesses in areas with low disease risk but travel controls still are in effect in many areas.

Elsewhere, governments are tightening anti-disease controls as new cases mount.

Japan will close schools nationwide. Saudi Arabia banned foreign pilgrims from entering the kingdom to visit Islam’s holiest sites. Italy has become the center of the outbreak in Europe, with the spread threatening the financial and industrial centers of that nation.

Goldman Sachs on Thursday said earnings for companies in the S&P 500 index might not grow at all this year, after predicting earlier that they would grow 5.5%.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 68 cents to $46.41 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost $1.64 on Thursday to settle at $47.09. Brent crude oil, used to price international oils, sank 68 cents to $51.40 per barrel in London. It declined $1.25 the previous session to $52.18 a barrel.

The dollar declined to 109.28 yen from Thursday’s 109.58 yen. The euro sank to $1.0987 from $1.0998.

Today’s Top Stories

AP

This June 5, 2013, image provided by the California Department of Water Resources shows a drip irri...
JESSICA DAMIANO Associated Press

Tips for growing a healthy garden during drought

Watering needs for plants could increase during periods of extreme heat, when the soil dries out more quickly.
12 hours ago
Two officers on a street the day after the Highland Park shooting...
MICHAEL TARM, KATHLEEN FOODY and ROGER SCHNEIDER Associated Press

Police: Gunman fired more than 70 rounds at July 4 parade

Police gave no motive for the attack in Highland Park, an affluent community of about 30,000 on Chicago's north shore.
12 hours ago
Frankfurter-munching phenom Joey “Jaws” Chestnut has gobbled his way to a 15th win at the Natha...
By JENNIFER PELTZ and JULIA NIKHINSON Associated Press

Joey Chestnut is chomp champ again in July 4 hot dog contest

NEW YORK (AP) — Frankfurter-munching phenom Joey “Jaws” Chestnut put a protester in a chokehold while gobbling his way to a 15th win Monday at the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest, powering down 63 hot dogs and buns at the annual exhibition of excess. In a decisive chowdown comeback, women’s record-holder […]
2 days ago
FILE - Fireworks explode over Baltimore's Inner Harbor during the Ports America Chesapeake 4th of J...
BOBBY CAINA CALVAN ASSOCIATED PRESS

A turbulent US this July 4, but many see cause to celebrate

July 4 has arrived as many citizens struggle to find a reason to celebrate. Yet many also see cause for celebration, including President Joe Biden.
2 days ago
A Navy soldier stands guard as authorities wait for the arrival of people who were evacuated from t...
Associated Press

Tropical Storm Colin brings rain to Carolinas, weakens

Tropical Storm Colin formed along the coast on Saturday. Conditions are expected to improve by Monday's Fourth of July celebrations.
3 days ago
A female bison and calf are seen near the Yellowstone River in Wyoming's Hayden Valley, on Wednesda...
Mark Jones

2nd visitor in 3 days gored by Yellowstone National Park bison

In less than a week, two visitors to Yellowstone National Park have been gored by bison. Park officials say to stay at least 25 yards away from a bison.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Asia stocks fall on virus fears after Wall Street plunge