Stocks in Asia Pacific were mixed on Thursday as global markets continue their rocky start to the second quarter.
Mainland Chinese stocks recovered from earlier losses to jump on the day, with the Shanghai composite up 1.69% to about 2,780.64 while the Shenzhen composite advanced 2.258% to around 1,697.55. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 0.69% higher, as of its final hour of trading, though shares of HSBC were down 2.25%.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.98% to close at 5,154.30 as the heavily-weighted financial subindex dropped 4.21%, as shares of the country’s major banks such as Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac sold off.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s Kospi rose 2.34% to close at 1,724.86.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index rose 0.19%.
Markets in India were closed on Thursday for a holiday.
Concerns over the economic impact of the global coronavirus pandemic, which has roiled markets in recent weeks, continue to weigh on investor sentiment. The rapid spread of the disease across the world has resulted in drastic measures by authorities such as widespread lockdowns that have left economies effectively frozen in many places globally.
So far, more than 932,000 people have been infected worldwide while at least 42,000 lives have been taken by the virus, according to data compiled by John Hopkins