Asian markets rose Tuesday with Shanghai fluctuating between positive and negative as bargain-buyers stepped in after the previous day’s rout but trading floors remained anxious as China’s deadly virus claimed more lives.
Investors tracked gains in Wall Street and Europe following last week’s rout, though focus remains on authorities’ efforts to contain an outbreak that has now infected 20,000 and killed more in mainland China than the SARS epidemic, which hammered Asian economies in 2003.
The virus has now spread to more than 20 countries and several others have imposed tough travel rules including banning flights to and from China, while the World Health Organization has declared a global health emergency.
And in a rare admission, Beijing admitted “shortcomings and difficulties” in its response to the crisis, which many fear could slash growth in the world’s number two economy and impact other countries that rely on its supply chains. Observers said China’s leaders were considering lowering their GDP forecasts for this year owing to the epidemic.
“The coronavirus is currently inflicting a heavy blow to its economy, so it stands to reason that growth will be much weaker.—AFP