ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Nikkei Markets

Asian stocks plunge as coronavirus deaths and infections continue to rise

Samsung Electronics falls after net income lags behind estimates

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian shares outside of Japan plunged Thursday on rising concerns over the economic impact of the coronavirus and its spread beyond China.

The Nikkei Asia300 index of companies outside Japan fell 2.6% to 1,331.26. Heavyweight Samsung Electronics dropped 3.2% after its net income for the December quarter missed estimates of analysts polled by Bloomberg. The company earlier this month had reported preliminary operating profit and sales numbers. Samsung's peer SK Hynix dipped 4%.

Asian equities continued to remain under pressure amid a further increase in deaths from the virus believed to have originated in China. On Thursday, China reported 38 new deaths from the virus and about 1,700 new infections, taking the total toll to 170 and 7,700, respectively.

Fears about the spread of the virus and the resultant slowdown in economic activity have prompted economists to scale back projections of China's near-term growth. Nomura said it reckons that the coronavirus could deal a more severe blow to China's economy in the near term relative to SARS in 2003.

The World Health Organization said it will hold an emergency meeting to decide whether the spread of virus is a global health emergency. The WHO expressed concern about the human-to-human spread of the virus in three countries other than China.

Mainland insurers on the A300 extended declines. H-shares of China Life Insurance lost 3.5% and Ping An Insurance Group dropped 1.9%. Goldman Sachs said while the direct impact potential on insurance claims may be limited given the virus is not currently covered by most critical illness policies, insurers faced "potential disruption to sales in the near term" with customers reluctant to meet agents.

An index of Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong dropped 2.8%.

Elsewhere, Macau casino operators Galaxy Entertainment Group and Sands China extended virus-triggered recent losses to fall 2.5% and 4.1%, respectively. Sands China on Thursday reported a 10.3% increase in fourth-quarter net income even as revenue edged 0.4% lower.

Shares of South Korean companies whose revenues are partly dependent on China extended losses. Amorepacific Group dropped 4.4% and LG Household & Healthcare slipped 2.6%.

--Nimesh Vora

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends July 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more