Coronavirus: Asian markets continue to tumble after latest Wall Street selloff

Shares in Asia failed to hold onto opening gains on Thursday, skidding further after the latest selloff on Wall Street.

Stocks fell in Tokyo, Sydney, Hong Kong and Seoul in early trading Thursday. Investors are in search of cash as fears of a prolonged coronavirus-induced recession take hold.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index gave up 0.7% to 16,5602.26, while in South Korea, the Kospi sank 6.5% to 1,487.85. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 4% to 21,397.56 and the Shanghai Composite index shed 1.9% to 2,676.79.

Australia’s S&P ASX/200 declined 2.3% to 4,840.80. Shares also fell in Southeast Asia.

The losses followed a more than 1,300 point, or 6.3%, decline Wednesday in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which has now lost nearly all of its gains since President Donald Trump’s inauguration. The Dow closed at 19,898.92.

Futures for the Dow and the S&P 500 were both down 1.5% early Thursday Asia time.

New York’s losses deepened after a temporary halt was triggered in the early afternoon. Even prices for investments seen as very safe, like longer-term U.S. Treasurys, have fallen as investors rush to raise cash.

The New York Stock Exchange said Wednesday it will temporarily close its iconic trading floor in lower Manhattan and move to all-electronic trading beginning Monday as a precautionary step amid the coronavirus outbreak.

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