Asian markets rose in early trading Wednesday, though stocks plunged in Hong Kong as traders returned from a holiday to a fast-spreading health crisis in China.
The Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.11% slid 2.4% on its first day back from the extended Lunar New Year holiday. Over the weekend, Hong Kong declared an emergency in the city over the spread of coronavirus in mainland China, which has infected at least 6,000 people and killed more than 130.
Airlines were hit hard amid travel restrictions, with China Eastern Airlines /zigman2/quotes/203578936/delayed HK:670 -0.61% and China Southern Airlines /zigman2/quotes/208800010/delayed HK:1055 +0.48% each down more than 3%. Casinos and property companies also sank, with Sands China /zigman2/quotes/207609245/delayed HK:1928 +0.90% and Hang Lung Properties /zigman2/quotes/200230831/delayed HK:101 +0.95% leading losses.
Markets remained closed in mainland China.
Elsewhere, though, markets recovered from losses suffered earlier in the week. Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.44% rose 0.7%, as SoftBank /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 -1.44% and Honda /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 +1.69% jumped, and South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.50% gained 0.7%. Benchmark indexes advanced in Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -0.59% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX -0.52% , though Malaysian stocks /zigman2/quotes/210598052/delayed MY:FBMKLCI -0.47% retreated. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.72% rose 0.6%.
“With an economy in recession on the front lines of the China situation, the Hang Seng will likely continue to suffer as a proxy to the still-closed Mainland markets,” Jeffrey Halley, senior Asia-Pacific market analyst for Oanda, wrote in a note. “Wary of dead-cat bounces, Asian markets are likely to remain cautious today and will be vulnerable to negative headlines emanating from China.”
After a steep plunge to start the week, Wall Street recovered somewhat Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.40% gained 187.05 points, or 0.7%, to end at 28,722.85 while the S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.47% rose 32.61 points, or 1%, to close at 3,276.24. The Nasdaq Composite index /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.33% rose 130.37 points, or 1.4%, finishing at 9,269.68.
Benchmark crude oil surged 74 cents to $54.20 a barrel. Brent crude oil , the international standard, jumped 81cents to $60.31.
The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.0626% gained to 109.21 Japanese yen from 108.91 yen on Tuesday.