Asian Stocks Dove, Ending 3 Days of Gains

Asian Stocks Dove, Ending 3 Days of Gains

HONG KONG – The Asian stock market ended its three-day winning streak as most stocks recorded declines on Friday.

Asian stocks excluding Japan dropped to end the trading week as market players contemplate on the latest headlines regarding the spreading of the coronavirus in China, with more cases recorded in other countries as well. The drops in Asian stocks today was also due to the anxiety in the market ahead of the closely watched jobs report from the United States.

In the previous trading session, the Nikkei Asia 300 index of stocks outside of Japan went up by 4.8%. However, some of its gains were returned on Friday when the index settled with a 0.8% loss, going down towards 1,361.64 points.

Meanwhile, the deadly virus continues to spread. Based on the recent update from the health authorities in China on Friday, a total of 70 new deaths was recorded in the country. Over 3,000 new confirmed cases was also added in the roster of the people infected with the virus. From today’s report, the current number of deaths due to the virus epidemic has reached 636 and a total of 31,161 confirmed infected cases.

Most of the deaths reported by the authorities are concentrated in the Hubei province, which is regarded as the epicenter of the virus outbreak.

On the other hand, Japan stated earlier today that the cases recorded from the quarantined cruise ship have already increased to 61 as of Friday.

Stocks also dropped as market players await on the latest US jobs report.US equity index futures dipped ahead of the monthly employment report. Based on the survey on economists, the average earnings growth of the US is predicted at around 0.3%, while the unemployment rate is expected to reach around 3.5%. Based on the poll, the estimated number of jobs added by US employers is around 160,000 from the 145,000 recorded for December.

Meanwhile, ING Bank stated that despite the gentle wage pressures and sustained employment growth suggests more stable interest rates in the US, risks in the market stays in line with the policy action amid the worries over the virus epidemic.

On stocks on the move, the Hong Kong stocks of China Overseas Land and Investment listed in the A300 index dropped by 1.8% after its contracted sales from last month recorded an 18% decline.

Chinese companies index listed in Hong Kong also edged lower by 0.6%, while Tencent Holdings increased by 0.6%.

Singaporean conglomerate Sembcorp Industries dropped 6%, NMDC went down by 2.3%, Galaxy Entertainment Group fell 0.5%, while Wynn Macau shares dropped 1.2%.