Most Asian shares fell on Tuesday a day after Wall Street’s historic market rout, with fleeting initial gains evaporating as the coronavirus remained a major risk to economic growth.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS gave up early gains to trade 0.43% lower. Japan’s Nikkei stock index .N225 slid 2.79% and South Korea’s KOSPI .KS11 was off 3.2%. Australian shares were up 0.5% although this followed a massive plunge of almost 10% on Monday.
U.S. stock futures ESc1 rose 1.16% early in Asian trading, but these gains were not enough to ease investor concern about the continuous spread of the flu-like virus.
“It’s no surprise that we’re seeing a bounce (in U.S. stock futures) after the big falls on Monday,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.
Gold, which is normally bought as a safe-haven, extended declines on Tuesday as some investors chose to sell whatever they could to keep their money in cash.
Oil futures rebounded in Asia, but downside risks remain due to an expected slump in global energy demand and Saudi Arabia’s plans to increase crude output to expand its market share.
The U.S. Federal Reserve stunned investors with another emergency rate cut on Sunday, prompting other central banks to ease policy in the biggest coordinated response since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago.
Investors, however, are worried that central banks may have spent all their ammunition and that more draconian restrictions on personal movement are necessary to contain the global coronavirus outbreak.
Financial markets cratered on Monday. The S&P 500 .SPX tumbled 12%, its biggest drop since “Black Monday” three decades ago, despite the Fed’s surprise move late Sunday to cut interest rates to near zero, its second emergency interest rate cut in less than two weeks.
Some $2.69 trillion in market value was wiped from the S&P 500 as it suffered its third-largest daily percentage decline on record. Over the past 18 days, the benchmark index has lost $8.28 trillion.
Traders are looking ahead to data due later on Tuesday, which is forecast to show German investor sentiment tumbled in March.