Despite coronavirus case numbers rising again in Japan and South Korea, local stock markets continue to gain. The Korean Kospi index was already 7 percent above Jan 2020 levels, while Japan’s Nikkei had about regained its coronavirus losses. This development mirrors the situation in the U.S. where infections continue to spread after a short slowdown, but stock markets have not reacted to the virus reprise in the same way they did when the virus emerged in early 2020.
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Hong Kong, which battled a spike in cases in July and also is embroiled in a fight for its independence with China, saw markets recover the least as a result. The Hang Seng index closed today still 10 percent lower than on Jan 2, the first trading day of 2020.
In China, where case numbers have remained most stable, markets have been back above January levels since early July. Also today, the first batch of companies debuted on Shenzhen’s overhauled Nasdaq-style ChiNext index and were overrun by investors. The development, again was reminiscent of tech stock gains in the U.S., which seem to have detached themselves from the coronavirus drama.
This chart shows the influence the coronavirus outbreak had on selected Asian stock indices (2020).
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