Markets

Mark Mobius says investors should look to emerging markets — virus impact will be 'temporary'

Key Points
  • There were roughly 10,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Friday. 
  • The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF, which tracks global stocks, fell 2.02% on Friday.
  • "In China, with a command economy, they can really put resources behind the cure and the solution. So I don't think it will be as long as people expect," Mobius said. 
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Coronavirus impact will mainly be in China, says Mark Mobius

Veteran investor Mark Mobius said people should look at emerging market stocks as global equities sell off amid rising fears about the coronavirus. 

Mobius, the founding partner of Mobius Capital Partners and a longtime emerging markets investor, said on CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Friday that the impact of the outbreak on stocks will be "temporary."

"The good news about this particular virus is that you have the world looking at it and you have a lot of scientists working on solutions," Mobius said. "And of course in China, with a command economy, they can really put resources behind the cure and the solution. So I don't think it will be as long as people expect."

As of Friday afternoon, there were roughly 10,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and more than 200 deaths. The Center for Disease Control confirmed a case in Santa Clara, California, marking at least the seventh one in the United States. 

Major airlines have suspended service to mainland China, and the U.S. government announced it will quarantine U.S. citizens who returnl from the Hubei province for up to 14 days. 

Stocks slid sharply around the world on Friday. In the United States, the S&P 500 fell 1.77% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2.09%.

The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF, which tracks global stocks, also fell 2.02%. 

Despite believing global stocks will bounce back, Mobius said emerging markets could get off to a choppy start next week. 

Major Chinese stock exchanges will open Monday for the first time since Jan. 24, as the Lunar New Year holiday break was extended as coronavirus spread. That could mean that global markets have a rough day on Monday, Mobius said.

"If China gets hit, then the rest of the emerging market countries get hit as well, because the ETFs are in emerging markets generally, and the heavy weighting in China effects the index," Mobius said. 

Mobius also said that, while the outbreak would hurt economic growth in China and surrounding countries in Asia, it may not have a big impact on other markets such as Latin America. 

"It's very important for us in emerging markets to differentiate who is going to be impacted and what the effect will be," Mobius said.