China stocks cap fall on limited domestic impact

Losses in China stocks, which ended lower on Tuesday, were capped as investors expected the coronavirus contagion outside China to have a limited impact on the Chinese market.

At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.6% at 3,013.05. The blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.22%.

CSI300′s financial sector sub-index fell 0.3%, the consumer staples sector lost 0.4% while the healthcare sub-index ticked up 0.7%.

The smaller Shenzhen index gained 0.5% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index rose 1%.

China’s major indexes fell sharply in early trade after a surge in cases outside mainland China triggered sharp falls in global markets as investors fled to safe havens.

South Korea aims to test more than 200,000 members of a church at the centre of a surge in coronavirus cases while the United States pledged $2.5 billion to fight the disease, as it spreads rapidly beyond China’s borders to Europe and the Middle East.

European equity markets suffered their biggest slump on Monday since mid-2016; gold soared to a seven-year high and oil tumbled 4%.

The Dow Jones Industrials and S&P 500 posted their biggest one-day percentage drops in over two years and Nasdaq had one of its worst days since December 2018.

Chinese policymakers have implemented a raft of measures to support an economy jolted by a coronavirus outbreak that is expected to have a devastating impact on first-quarter growth.

A continued drop in new cases outside Hubei also helped lift sentiment.

China reported a rise in new coronavirus cases in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, on Tuesday while the rest of the country saw a fourth straight day of declines.

Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index edged up by 0.24%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 3.34%.

At 0705 GMT, the yuan was 0.19% stronger at 7.0139 per U.S. dollar.

The Shanghai stock index is down 1.2% so far this year, and the CSI300 has risen 0.7%. Shanghai stocks have risen 1.2% this month.

About 44.16 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, highest since last April. The volume in the previous trading session was 37.04 billion.

As of 0701 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 27.71% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.

The Shanghai stock index is above its 50-day moving average as well as its 200-day moving average.