Uncertainty Continues to Roil Asia Markets

Stocks in Asia Pacific saw sharp drops on Monday as fears over the economic impact of the global coronavirus outbreak continue to weigh heavily on investor sentiment.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index returned from a long weekend to gain 334.95 or 2%, to 16,887.78.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.19 per U.S. dollar after weakening from levels below 108 last week.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index stumbled 1,108.94 points, or 4.9%, to 21,696.13.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.577 following highs above $0.6 seen last week.

The global coronavirus outbreak continues to spread rapidly across the world, with the number of infected now over 294,000 and more than 12,900 lives taken, according to data from the World Health Organization.

In other markets

The CSI 300 lost 122.91 points, or 3.4%, to 3,530.31.

In Korea, the Kospi index fell 83.69 points, or 5.3%, to 1,482.46

In Taiwan, the Taiex backpedaled 344.06 points, or 3.7%, to 8,890.03

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index lost 177.26 points, or 7.4%, to 2,233.48

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 slumped 697.72 points, or 7.6%, to 8,498.70

In Australia, the ASX 200 slid 270.59 points, or 5.6%, to 4,546.04