Asian markets mixed as uncertainty over coronavirus remains

Asian markets were mixed on Thursday as global markets continue their rocky start to the second quarter.

Mainland Chinese stocks recovered from earlier losses to jump on the day, with the Shanghai composite up 1.69% to about 2,780.64 while the Shenzhen composite advanced 2.258% to around 1,697.55. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 0.69% higher, as of its final hour of trading, though shares of HSBC were down 2.25%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.98% to close at 5,154.30 as the heavily-weighted financial subindex dropped 4.21%, as shares of the country’s major banks such as Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac sold off.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s Kospi rose 2.34% to close at 1,724.86.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined 1.37% to end its trading day at 17,818.72 as shares of index heavyweight Fast Retailing slipped 2.41% while the Topix index shed 1.57% to close at 1,329.87.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index rose 0.19%.