Asian Markets Fall as Volatility Continues; Japan’s Nikkei Plunges 3%

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By Alex Ho – Asian markets fell on Friday morning, with Japanese stocks dropping 3% amid continuing concerns over the global coronavirus outbreak.

The led losses and plunged 3.1% by 11:15 PM ET (03:15 GMT). Index heavyweight Softbank Group Corp. (T:) traded more than 4% lower.

China’s and the fell 1.0% and 0.8% respectively.

South Korea’s was down 2.4%.

Down under, Australia’s lost 2.5% as the country’s retail turnover in January fell 0.3% month-on-month on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the country’s Bureau of Statistics, which noted that it expected the outbreak to “impact aggregate retail trade estimates in coming months.”

Airline shares underperformed today, as Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd (ASX:) dropping more than 6% while Japan’s ANA Holdings Inc (T:) down 3.5%.

Over in South Korea, Korean Air Lines Co (KS:)’ stock plummeted 4.98%. Hong Kong-listed shares of China Eastern Airlines Corp Ltd (HK:) also slid 4.08%.

The moves came after the International Air Transport Association forecasted on Thursday that airlines could lose up to $113 billion in revenue this year if the coronavirus continues to spread.

Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank said today the coronavirus outbreak is set to trim global economic growth by 0.1% to 0.4%.

In the U.S., the Labor Department will issue its report later in the day. Economists are forecasting that nonfarm payrolls rose by 175,000 last month, according to forecasts compiled by

The unemployment rate is seen holding steady at 3.6% and average hourly earnings are expected to have rise 0.3%, or up 3% on an annual basis.

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