TOKYO – Asian shares were mixed on Wednesday due to lingering concerns over the economic fallout from the pandemic as reports of coronavirus cases continue to increase in various regions.
The Japanese reference Nikkei 225
fell 4%. Australia S & P / ASX 200
3.4%, while South Korea Kospi
3.4% decrease. Hong Kong Hang Seng
lost 2.2%, while the Shanghai Composite
slipped 0.1%. Singapore
the benchmark fell while stocks were up in Taiwan
The Bank of Japan’s quarterly business climate survey, called “tankan,” added to the damage, highlighting the gloom of a likely recession. The world’s third largest economy had been lagging behind for months when the outbreak started to take its toll earlier this year.
Sentiment from major Japanese manufacturers fell over the period from January to March, marking the fifth consecutive quarter of decline, according to the central bank. The tankan measures the sentiment of companies by subtracting the number of companies declaring that the commercial conditions are negative from those which answer that they are positive.
The key index, which measures the sentiment of large manufacturers, fell to minus 8 from zero in October-December, the worst result in seven years. Sentiment from non-manufacturers was also bleak, with the service sector, tourism and other businesses also hard hit by the epidemic.
On Wall Street overnight, stocks plunged to end their worst quarter since the worst days of the 2008 financial crisis.
The S&P 500
fell 1.6%, bringing its loss for the first three months of the year to 20% as forecasts of the impending recession caused by the coronavirus epidemic become even more dire. Equities have not had a bad quarter since the last time economists spoke of the worst slowdown since the Great Depression, when the S&P 500 lost 22.6% in late 2008. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
of the 30 leading US stocks lost 23.2% for their worst quarter since 1987.
The spike in coronavirus cases around the world has pushed markets down since mid-February, undermining what had been a good start to the year.
American benchmark crude
earned 10 cents to $ 20.58 a barrel in ecommerce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 39 cents at $ 20.48 a barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude
, the international standard, lost 42 cents to $ 25.94 a barrel.
cost 107.87 Japanese yen, up from 107.52 yen on Tuesday.