Asia Markets Mixed As Coronavirus Cases Rise, Mobile World Congress Canceled

Markets in Asia traded in mix on Friday as investors continue to weigh the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the global and regional economy.

What Happened

China confirmed 5,090 new cases of the virus by the end of Thursday with 121 new deaths, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency. The total number of confirmed cases in China alone have crossed 63,851 people at least.

Meanwhile, less than a day after Japan confirmed its first death from the coronavirus, a doctor-to-patient transmission is suspected, as reported by the Straits Times. The country also confirmed its 35th case of the virus on Friday.

The Mobile World Congress, perhaps the most prominent gathering of the telecommunications industry, was also cancelled Thursday, after a host of companies including Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), BT Group PLC (OTC: BTGOF), Amazon.com Inc. (NASAQ: AMZN), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), and Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) all said that they were either not attending or significantly diminishing their presence.

Singapore prime minister Lee Hsein said that the impact of the outbreak on Singapore’s economy has already exceeded that of the SARS outbreak of 2003 and that a recession could be a possibility, according to the Straits Times. The country’s health ministry issued a separate warning asking the country to remain prepared for a possible rise in cases.

Markets in Japan were additionally affected by automaker Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.’s (OTC: NSANY) worst close since May 2009 after the company downgraded its forecast for the financial year 2019.

Asia Stocks

Here’s how the markets in Asia performed at close on Friday.

China’s Shanghai Composite index traded 0.38% higher at 2,917.01, while Shenzhen Component was up 0.48% at 10,916.31.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index traded 0.31% higher at 27,815.60.

Nikkei 225 dropped 0.59% at 23,687.59; South Korea’s KOSPI was up 0.48% at

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