Global Markets: Asian stocks wobble on jump in new coronavirus cases
Global Markets: Asian stock markets wobbled on Thursday while safe-havens such as the yen, gold and bonds rose as the number of new coronavirus cases and deaths in the outbreak`s epicentre jumped.
Global Markets: Asian stock markets wobbled on Thursday while safe-havens such as the yen, gold and bonds rose as the number of new coronavirus cases and deaths in the outbreak`s epicentre jumped. China`s Hubei province, where the virus is believed to have originated, reported 242 new deaths, double the previous day`s toll, and confirmed 14,840 new cases on Feb. 12.
The rise in the number of cases, which came as officials adopted a new methodology for counting infections, is a sevenfold increase from a day earlier.
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It was not immediately clear how the new methods affected the results, nor why the death toll rose so sharply, but it seemed to dash hopes that the virus` spread might be slowing.
E-mini S&P 500 futures turned from positive to fall 0.3%. Dow Jones futures fell by the same margin, suggesting a pause in Wall Street`s strong rally.
Ten-year U.S. Treasuries fell about 3 basis points to 1.607% , the yen strengthened past 110 per dollar and a rally in Asian currencies against the dollar halted.
MSCI`s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> was steady in morning trade but the news knocked the week`s momentum from stock markets.
"The slowdown (in cases) was the key driver of the rally in growth-exposed assets," said Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.
"A lot of people leapt to the conclusion that we might have seen a peak...the reversal of what appeared to be good news is enough to have people scrambling for the exits."
Japan`s Nikkei was flat while Australia`s ASX/S&P 200 index retreated from a record high. The Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong`s Hang Seng wavered either side of unchanged.
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