Tokyo The rising numbers of fatalities and infected people as well as the spread of the virus outside of China has put pressure on the mood of Asian investors. The economic consequences are not yet foreseeable. “The wildcard is not the death rate, but how contagious the Wuhan virus is,” wrote Citi economists in a message. “The economic impact depends on how successfully this outbreak is contained.”
However, it will still be a few months before official economic data are published. Analysts said the travel and tourism industry, along with retail and liquor sellers, would be the hardest hit sectors. Healthcare and online shops would be seen as outperformers of the virus wave.
The Nikkei index, comprising 225 values, was 0.9 percent lower over the course of the year at 23,134 points. The broader Topix index fell by 0.8 percent and stood at 1689 points.
The Shanghai stock exchange fell 2.8 percent. The index of the most important companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen lost 3.1 percent. The MSCI index for Asian stocks outside Japan fell 0.8 percent.
In Asian currency trading, the dollar gained 0.1 percent to 108.97 yen and rose 0.5 percent to 6.9364 yuan. It was 0.1 percent higher at CHF 0.9704 for the Swiss currency. At the same time, the euro rose 0.1 percent to $ 1.1021 and rose 0.1 percent to CHF 1.0696. The pound stagnated at $ 1.3055.