Asia Mixed on Virus Developments

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Wednesday as investors watched for developments on the coronavirus front.

The Nikkei 225 popped 292.25 points, or 1%, to 28,456.59

The Japanese government is set to expand the state of emergency to more areas on Wednesday, according to local media reports. That comes after Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga recently declared a state of emergency in Tokyo and three other areas in a bid to stem a rise in coronavirus infections.

The Japanese yen traded at 103.66 per U.S.dollar, stronger than levels above 104 against the greenback seen earlier this week.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong backed down 41.15 points, or 0.2%, to 28,235.60.

Hong Kong-listed shares of Lenovo jumped more than 10% after the Chinese PC maker said it plans to list stocks on Shanghai’s Science and Technology Innovation Board.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7771, having risen from levels below $0.77 touched earlier in the trading week.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 slid 18.38 points, or 0.3%, to 5,577.97.

Meanwhile, local Chinese authorities in regions near Beijing are stepping up restrictions on social activity following a rise in new coronavirus cases.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index regained 22.34 points, or 0.7%, to 3,148.29

In Singapore, the Straits Times eked up 0.34 points to 2,977.51.

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index raced higher 269.28 points, or 1.7%, to 15,769.98.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 skidded 63.41 points, or 0.5%, to 13,120.28.

In Australia, the ASX 200 recovered 7.52 points, or 0.1% to 6,686.60.