China stocks edge higher as investors weigh concerns over coronavirus

Asia stocks  edged higher on Wednesday as investors weighed concerns over the spread of the coronavirus that has afflicted hundreds in China so far.

Mainland Chinese stocks made a turnaround to close higher after dropping more than 1% in the morning. The Shenzhen component added 1.08% to 11,072.06 and the Shenzhen composite rose 0.724% to 1,819.61. The Shanghai composite advanced 0.28% to around 3,060.75.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 1.32% higher, as of its final hour of trading, after leading losses among major Asian markets on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.7% to close at 24,031.35 while the Topix index added 0.53% to end its trading day at 1,744.13.

The Kospi in South Korea also gained 1.23% to close at 2,267.25. The Bank of Korea said Wednesday the country’s economy grew 1.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis in the fourth quarter as compared with three months earlier. That was the fastest expansion since the third quarter of 2017, beating an estimated 0.8% growth from a Reuters poll.

Meanwhile, stocks in Australia rose as the S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.94% higher at 7,132.70.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index was 0.73% higher.