In Asian Equity Markets stocks in South Korea led losses among major Asian markets in Monday after the country raised its coronavirus alert to the “highest level” following a rapid spike in cases over the weekend. The Kospi was down 3.1% as shares of automaker Hyundai Motor fell 3.91% while the Kosdaq fell 3.25%. South Korea’s Korean Air Lines and Asiana Airlines also fell 5.52% and 5.54%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.48% lower. The Shanghai composite was down 0.34%.
In Currency Markets Asian currencies fell on Monday as the rapid spread of the coronavirus outside China drove fears of a pandemic and sent investors flocking to gold and the dollar for safety. Italy, South Korea and Iran posted sharp rises in infections over the weekend. South Korea now has more than 760 cases, Italy more than 150 and Iran 43 cases. The Korean won plunged nearly 1% to a six-month low. Political turmoil in Malaysia added pressure to the ringgit and sent it 0.6% lower to its weakest since September.
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell nearly 3% towards a one-week low on Monday as the rapid spread of the coronavirus in several countries outside China left investors fretting about a hit to demand. Brent crude fell by $1.69 or 2.9% to $56.81 a barrel. U.S. crude futures fell by $1.40 or 2.6% to $51.98. In the United States, the oil rig count, an indicator of future production, rose for a third straight week. Drillers added one oil rig last week, bringing the total count to 679, the highest since the week of Dec. 20,
In US Equity Markets stock indexes fell on Friday after data showed U.S. business activity stalled in February, and a spike in new coronavirus cases in China and elsewhere sent investors scrambling for safer assets such as gold and government bonds. The S&P 500 fell 0.79% to 3,346.74 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.14% to 9,639.45. Among other stocks, Dropbox Inc jumped 22.3% after it raised its outlook for operating margin, and Deere & Co rose 8.8% after an unexpected rise in first-quarter profit.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields were down on Friday as mounting concerns about the economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic drove investors into safe-haven assets. The benchmark 10-year yield was down 5.4 basis points in afternoon trade at 1.4713%. It was the first time the note yielded less than 1.5% since early September. The 30-year bond was down 5.4 basis points at 1.9181%. The session low was 1.886%, an all-time low.