Asian stocks fell sharply lower in early trading Friday, as Japan’s Nikkei sank to into correction territory as coronavirus fears continued to rattle global markets.
The Nikkei plunged 4% /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.56% , bringing the index down 10.8% from recent highs. While new data showed Japan’s manufacturing output rose more than expected in January, economist Takeshi Minami warned output will likely decline until the outbreak is over — potentially not until summer, according to Reuters .
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promised Friday he was willing to make policy moves in order to avoid economic damage. “If developments change, we’ll ensure to take steps as needed to prevent the virus from becoming a huge downside risk to Japan’s economy,” he told parliament, Reuters reported .
On Thursday, Abe asked all schools in Japan to close for a month in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. On Friday, Tokyo Disney Resort operator Oriental Land Co. /zigman2/quotes/205452858/delayed JP:4661 -0.33% said it would close its theme parks for two weeks, per a request by the government to cancel or postpone major public events.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.75% fell 2.6%, while the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.09% slid 2.9% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 -1.10% dove 3.6%. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.87% tumbled 3%. Stocks inched up in Malaysia /zigman2/quotes/210598052/delayed MY:FBMKLCI +0.19% , but sank in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 -0.26% , Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -0.42% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX -0.07% . Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.70% retreated 2.9%.
Among individual stocks, Hitachi /zigman2/quotes/203839937/delayed JP:6501 -1.33% , SoftBank /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 -0.75% , Toyota /zigman2/quotes/203803129/delayed JP:7203 -0.77% and Sony /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 -0.79% dropped in Tokyo trading. In Hong Kong, Apple component maker AAC /zigman2/quotes/201441510/delayed HK:2018 -2.13% slid, along with Geely Automobile /zigman2/quotes/200716015/delayed HK:175 -1.44% , oil producer CNOOC /zigman2/quotes/203421416/delayed HK:883 +1.24% and Wharf Real Estate /zigman2/quotes/205885756/delayed HK:1997 0.00% . Samsung /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 -1.48% and LG Electrionics /zigman2/quotes/209966407/delayed KR:066570 -1.55% fell in South Korea, while BHP /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP +0.30% , Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO +0.44% and National Australia Bank /zigman2/quotes/210431826/delayed AU:NAB -1.44% declined in Australia.
Fears of the coronavirus’ spread “have become full-blown across the globe as cases outside China climb,” DBS analysts Chang Wei Liang and Eugene Leow said in a report, according to the Associated Press .
New COVID-19 cases have sprung up around the globe in recent days, with trade and industry threatened by mass quarantines and shutdowns.
Goldman Sachs analysts on Thursday warned the outbreak could wipe out U.S. earnings growth this year, though they expect the S&P 500 to rebound by the end of the year.
Thursday on Wall Street, stocks plunged for a sixth straight day as all three benchmark indexes closed in correction territory, defined as a decline of at least 10%, but no more than 20%, from a recent peak.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.35% lost 1,190.90 points, or 4.4%, to close at 25,766.60, while the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.22% shed 137.63 points, or 4.4%, to end at 2,978.76. The Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -0.28% slumped 414.29 points, or 4.6%, closing at 8,566.48.
Benchmark U.S. crude slid more than 2% in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 3.4% on Thursday to settle at $47.09. Brent crude oil , the global benchmark, sank 2% to $51.19 per barrel in London after falling $1.25 on Thursday to $52.18 a barrel.
The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.0727% fell to 108.94 yen from 109.58 yen Thursday.