Asian stocks lower as ‘coronavirus anxiety’ dominates sentiment

Asia Pacific markets fell across the board Friday as investors remained cautious due to the growing number of coronavirus cases around the world.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 2.26% in late-afternoon trade. Reuters reported the city will suspend all schools from Monday following a recent spike in coronavirus cases.

Australia’s benchmark ASX 200 ended the session down 0.61% at 5,919.20. The heavily-weighted financials subindex declined 0.72% while the energy subindex fell 1.98%.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan dropped 1.06% to 22,290.81 while the Topix index fell 1.42% to 1,535.20. In South Korea, the Kospi index was down 0.81% at 2,150.25.

Mainland Chinese markets also fell: The Shanghai composite was down 1.95% at 3,383.32, the Shenzhen composite was down 0.3% at 2,251 while the Shenzhen component was down 0.61% at 13,671.24.