Asia Markets

Japanese shares bounce back in turbulent session as investors await stimulus measures

Key Points
  • Mainland Chinese stocks were higher on the day, with the Shanghai composite up 1.82% to around 2,996.76 while the Shenzhen composite added 2.425% to approximately 1,887.34. The Shenzhen component rose 2.65% to 11,403.47.
  • Meanwhile, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 recovered from its earlier slip, surging 3.11% to close at 5,939.60. Earlier during in the session, the benchmark had fallen into bear territory — defined as more than 20% off its 52-week highs.
  • Investors continued to watch for developments on the coronavirus' spread globally as well as an oil price war that was triggered after OPEC and its allies failed to reach an agreement during a recent meeting.

Shares in Asia Pacific rose on Tuesday, recovering from sharp losses in the morning as investors awaited developments on stimulus to combat the impact of the global coronavirus outbreak.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 bounced back strongly from an earlier drop to close 0.85% higher at 19,867.12 while the Topix index rose 1.28% to end its trading day at 1,406.68. The two indexes had earlier declined more than 3% each during the Tuesday session.

Mainland Chinese stocks were also higher on the day, with the Shanghai composite up 1.82% to around 2,996.76 while the Shenzhen composite added 2.425% to approximately 1,887.34. The Shenzhen component rose 2.65% to 11,403.47.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong jumped 1.59% as of its final hour of trade, with shares of Chinese tech juggernauts Tencent and Alibaba rising 2.6% and 3.36%, respectively. 

Meanwhile, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 recovered from its earlier slip, surging 3.11% to close at 5,939.60. Earlier during in the session, the benchmark had fallen into bear territory — defined as more than 20% off its 52-week highs.

South Korea's Kospi ended its trading day 0.42% higher at 1,962.93.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index was 1.29% higher.

"This volatility is gonna stay in place until we see the back side of this virus and I don't think we can say that yet, especially in the United States and that's the bellwether for the world when it comes to the stock market," Mark Matthews, a managing director and head of research Asia at Bank Julius Baer, told CNBC's "Street Signs" on Tuesday.

"I think there is more downside for the stock market but the problem with these things is they can come back so fast and you don't know when," Matthews said.

Investors continued to watch for developments on the global coronavirus spread as well as an oil price war that was triggered after OPEC and its allies failed to reach a deal on production cuts, and Saudi Arabia announced massive discounts to its official selling prices for April.

In response to the global coronavirus outbreak, governments within the Group of Seven nations are expected to announce stimulus measures. Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso said the country's government is set to unveil a second package of steps on Tuesday to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reported.

U.S. President Donald Trump also announced Monday he will be meeting with Senate and House Republicans on Tuesday to discuss a "possible tax relief measure" in response to the coronavirus outbreak stateside. 

In the afternoon of Asian trading hours on Tuesday, international benchmark Brent crude futures rose 7.68% to $37 per barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained 7.65% to $33.51 per barrel.

Crude prices on Monday saw their worst day since 1991, with Brent plummeting 24% to $34.44 per barrel. WTI sank 24% to $31.13 per barrel.

On the economic data front, producer prices in China for February fell 0.4% from a year earlier, Reuters reported Tuesday citing official data. That was worse than expectations of a 0.3% decline by analysts in a Reuters poll. Consumer prices for February rose 5.2% as compared to a year earlier, in line with forecasts by economists polled by Reuters.

Meanwhile, the double whammy caused by coronavirus fears as well as the oil price price sent stocks on Wall Street tumbling overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2,013.7 points to end the trading day at 23,851.02 —  its single-worst day since Oct. 15, 2008, when it fell 7.87%. The S&P 500 plunged 7.6% to close at 2,746.56 while the Nasdaq Composite ended its trading day 7.29% lower at 7,950.68. 

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 95.878 after seeing levels above 97.2 last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.53 per dollar after weakening from an earlier high of 101.99. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.655 after touching an earlier high of $0.6613.

— CNBC's Yun Li contributed to this report.