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Asian markets upward thrust, however the coronavirus outbreak is not over — Asian marketplace newest

Japan’s Nikkei 225 (N225) advanced nearly 2% on Thursday, South Korea’s KOSPI (KOSPI) rose 1.7%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HSI) rose 1.5% and China’s Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) edged up 0.3% — all of them building on Wednesday’s gains.

The advances come as the coronavirus outbreak shows little sign of slowing down. The disease has killed more than 560 people worldwide, mostly in China, and infected more than 28,000 people in over 25 countries.

The rising toll has some analysts questioning investors’ optimism.

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There is very little “to back up the claim that either [the coronavirus] is peaking, or that it is contained,” Robert Carnell, an economist with ING, wrote in a note Thursday.

Given the rise in confirmed cases, “I can see little justification for the extent of the market’s rally if it is entirely a relief move over the outbreak,” he added.

The rally comes as a growing number of companies are warning that the spread of coronavirus will drag down earnings for the year.

Yum China (YUMC), which owns restaurant chains such as KFC and Pizza Hut in China, said on Thursday that 2020 sales and profit will take a hit, as the coronavirus outbreak has forced it to temporarily shut more than 30% of its stores in mainland China.
Nike (NKE), Adidas (ADDDF) and Capri Holdings — which owns Versace, Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors — also this week warned investors that sales could take a hit as the virus spreads across China.

“Huge uncertainties remain over the impact of the coronavirus on China’s economy,” Fitch Ratings warned on Thursday, noting that the disease has spread faster than SARS, “and official travel and workplace activity restrictions have been more aggressive.”

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