Investors Lose Virus Fears, Asia Stocks Surge

Stocks in Asia rose on Wednesday as investors shrugged off concerns over the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The Nikkei 225 index returned from a day off to rocket 175.23 points, or 0.7%, to 23,861.21, as shares of index heavyweight and conglomerate Softbank Group surged 11.9% after a judge stateside approved a merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. Softbank is a majority shareholder of Sprint.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.88 against the U.S. dollar after seeing an earlier high of 109.76.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.91 per U.S. dollar, off levels below 108.6 seen last week.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index hiked 239.78 points, or 0.9%, to 27,823.66,

Australian markets gained ground, as shares of Commonwealth Bank of Australia surged 4.1% following the release of its half year results.

Shares of Australian health supplements firm Blackmores bucked the overall trend as they plunged 12.8%. The company had earlier announced a scrapping of its dividend and the expectation that this year’s profit will more than halve as its supply chain is impacted by the coronavirus outbreak

The Australian dollar was at $0.6729 after seeing an earlier low of $0.6709.

CHINA

The CSI 300 gained 31.97 points, or 0.8%, to 3,984.43.

Even so, investors continue to grapple with uncertainty surrounding the virus that has already taken more than 1,000 lives, with most of them coming from China, where the outbreak was first reported.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex vaulted 110.15 points, or 0.9%, to 11,774.19

In Korea, the Kospi index added 15.26 points, or 0.7%, to 2,238.38

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index moved higher 47.8 points, or 1.5%, to 3,223.37

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 progressed 63.7 points, or 0.5%, to 11,898.24

In Australia, the ASX 200 spiked 32.89 points, or 0.5%, to 7,088.20