Asian stock markets on Friday plunged further on spreading virus fears, deepening a global rout after Wall Street endured its biggest one-day drop in nine years.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 on Friday plunged 805.27 points, or 3.7 percent, to 21,142.96, plummeting 9.6 percent from 23,386.74 on Feb. 21.
Seoul’s KOSPI on Friday dropped 67.88 points, or 3.3 percent, to 1,987.01, a dive of 8.1 percent from a close of 2,162.8 a week earlier.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng on Friday fell 648.69 points, or 2.4 percent, to 26,129.93, a drop of 4.3 percent from 27,308.81 a week earlier.
The Shanghai Composite on Friday closed down 111.03 points, or 3.7 percent, at 2,880.30, plunging 5.2 percent from a close of 3,039.67 on Feb. 21.
Sydney, New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets also retreated.
In Taipei, the TAIEX on Thursday closed down 141.45 points, or 1.24 percent, at 11,292.17, dropping 3.4 percent from 11,686.35 on Feb. 21. Turnover totaled NT$201.34 billion (US$6.64 billion).
The market was closed on Friday for the 228 Memorial Day long holiday weekend.
Investors had been confident that COVID-19, which emerged in China in December last year, might be under control.
However, outbreaks in Italy, South Korea and Iran have fueled fears that the virus is turning into a global threat that might derail trade and industry.
Anxiety intensified on Thursday, when the US reported its first virus case in someone who had not traveled abroad or been in contact with anyone who had.
A growing list of major companies has been issuing profit warnings and saying that factory shutdowns in China are disrupting supply chains.
They have said that travel bans and other disease-prevention measures are also hurting sales in China, a major consumer market.
Virus fears “have become full-blown across the globe as cases outside China climb,” Chang Wei Liang and Eugene Leow of DBS Bank said in a report.
Markets in China and Hong Kong had been doing relatively well in the past few weeks, despite anxiety over the virus.
In China, authorities flooded markets with credit to shore up prices after trading resumed following an extended Lunar New Year holiday.
Chinese investor sentiment has also been buoyed by promises of lower interest rates, tax breaks and other measures to help revive manufacturing and other industries.
China shut down much of its economy to stem the spread of the infection.
Most access to the city of Wuhan, a manufacturing hub at the center of the outbreak, was suspended on Jan. 23. The Lunar New Year holiday was extended to keep factories and offices closed.
The government told the public to stay home.
Authorities have been shifting to trying to reopen factories and other businesses in areas with low disease risk, but travel controls are still in effect in many areas.
Elsewhere, governments are tightening disease-prevention controls as new cases mount.
Japan might close schools nationwide. Saudi Arabia banned foreign pilgrims from entering the kingdom to visit Islam’s holiest sites. Italy has become the center of the outbreak in Europe, with the spread threatening the financial and industrial centers of that nation.
Additional reporting by staff writer
Just a few years ago, the millennial generation — generally defined as those born from the early 1980s through the mid-1990s — was synonymous with youthful rebellion. However, now, as the millennials ease into early middle age, they are finding their path out of their parents’ basement to be a lot harder than it was for earlier generations. The fundamental problem is that millennials are not building wealth. The wealth of the median US household headed by someone 35 or younger has actually shrunk in inflation-adjusted terms since the mid-2000s, even as the wealth of older Americans has continued to grow. An
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range