Asia-Pacific News

Seven major Asia-Pacific markets have tumbled into correction territory

Key Points
  • A number of Asian stock indexes are in correction territory as fears over the potential economic impact of the coronavirus' rapid spread outside of China weigh on investor sentiment.
  • That comes as Wall Street's major indexes tumbled into correction territory on Thursday.
Mask-clad commuters make their way to work during morning rush hour at the Shinagawa train station in Tokyo on February 28, 2020.

A surge in coronavirus cases outside China has sent stock markets across the world tanking, with Wall Street's major indexes dropping into correction territory on Thursday.

Stocks in Asia, the continent with the highest number of confirmed cases globally, have certainly not been spared.

Hong Kong has been crippled by a double whammy of coronavirus fears and months of anti-government protests. The Hang Seng index there has veered in and out of correction territory — defined as a 10% drop from a market's 52-week high (calculated using data from Refinitiv).

More stock indexes have since entered the territory amid a Friday sell-off. Here's a list of indexes currently in correction territory, as of the market close on Friday:

In some cases, such as Thailand, the market has even fallen more than 20% from its 52-week high into bear market territory.

That comes as concerns over the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak continues to weigh on investor sentiment as the disease spreads globally outside of China, where it was first reported.

Don't underestimate the near-term hit to economic activity.
Sonal Varma and Rebecca Wang
Research analysts at Nomura

On Friday, South Korea — the country with the most number of reported cases outside of China — confirmed another 256 new coronavirus cases, bringing the country's total to 2,022, according to its Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.

In the Middle East, Iran has been the most affected, with more than 200 infections and at least 26 deaths. The disease has also made inroads in the West, with more than 400 cases in Italy while the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed on Wednesday the first coronavirus case of unknown origin in Northern California.

"COVID-19 has escalated rapidly — first in mainland China and now in other countries — and is likely to have a significant economic impact," Nomura analysts Sonal Varma and Rebecca Wang wrote in a note dated Feb. 27.

"Quantifying the economic impact remains challenging as there is still no hard evidence," the analysts said. "To fill this void, we combine bottomup evidence from companies and sectors across countries to evaluate the potential topdown macro impact.“

”Our conclusion: don't underestimate the near-term hit to economic activity," they said.