The Kospi index is now down 2.76% and other Asian markets also go down after South Korea raised its disease warning to its highest level.
Samsung Electronics yesterday confirmed a worker at a South Korean phone factory positive for nCoV. The entire plant has been closed, Reuters said. However, Samsung claims this facility only contributes a small part in its smartphone production. Samsung shares this morning fell 2.7%.
To date, 6 people have died from the disease in South Korea, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of infections has skyrocketed recently, bringing the total number of cases to over 600, making Korea the second largest outbreak in the world.
According to Yonhap, investment banks and large economic organizations forecast the growth of the Korean economy will slide below 2% in 2020 due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic. In recent days, a new strain of corona virus has attacked South Korea’s economic activities. The average daily export of South Korea decreased by 9.3% in the first 20 days of February compared to the same period in 2019.
The Chinese market opened just lower. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4%, while the Shenzhen Composite lost 0.1%. Hang Seng Index (Hong Kong) lost 0.75%.
The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index is now down 1.5%. Other markets such as Australia, Taiwan, and Singapore are all going down. Japanese market is closed today.
Global investors are still watching the evolution of the Covid-19 epidemic and its economic impact. New outbreaks outside China, such as South Korea, the Middle East and Italy, are the focus of investors’ attention. Strong control measures have been implemented and will inflict a severe blow on the global economy.
The Korean won lost 0.8% this morning against the US dollar, currently at the 6-month bottom at 1,218 KRW per USD. Both Japanese yen and Australian dollar are depreciating against the greenback.
In commodity markets, crude oil prices are plummeting. Brent currently lost 3%, about $ 56.8 a barrel. And WTI oil fell 2.5% to 52 USD. World gold price this morning continued to increase, currently trading around USD 1,660 an ounce.