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Asian stocks: Emergency stimulus trigger panic, KOSPI, IDX hit circuit breakers

  • Asian equities remain on the back foot amid the global rush to combat the coronavirus.
  • RBA, ECB announced fresh measures, Fed undertook MMLF.
  • Death toll rises in Italy, the UK, Indonesia tops the South-East Asian nation, Australia/New Zealand announce border restrictions.
  • Heavy stimulus from the US and Japan is in the pipeline.

The rush to safeguard against the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) recently pushed a few more policymakers, including the ECB, the RBA and the Fed, towards further measures. That said, Asian stocks had to bear the burden of risk aversion amid growing fears of a widespread outbreak. Also weighing on the shares were concerns of the source of global stimulus and the degree to which they are announced.

As a result, MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan drops 4.9% while Japan’s NIKKEI is down more than 1.0% by the press time.

The show stoppers were South Korea’s KOSPI and Indonesia’s IDX that hit circuit breakers amid fears of an outbreak. “Foreign investors sold some $317 million net of KOSPI shares Thursday, taking the sell-off into an 11th straight day,” said Bloomberg.

Moving on, the Australian gauge, ASX 200, fails to cheer the RBA’s rate cut and QE while New Zealand’s NZX 50 also follows the footsteps as the indices mark 3.40% and 3.20% respective losses by the time of writing.

India’s BSE SENSEX, down 2.28% to 28,200, paid a little heed to the CNN news claiming no community spread while Chinese equities also keep the red amid calls of a global slowdown amid the pandemic.

Investors now await clues of the heavy stimulus from Japan and the US whereas the surprise news of the cure, if any, will renew the market’s trade sentiment.

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