China Stocks Plunge as Coronavirus Fears Grow

Returning from a long holiday, Chinese investors consider the implications of the virtual shutdown of the world’s No. 2 economy.

The New York Times
Date: Feb. 2, 2020
By: Carlos Tejada

HONG KONG — Stocks in China plunged in early Monday trading as investors returned from a long holiday to the prospect of the world’s No. 2 economy virtually shut down by the coronavirus epidemic.

Stocks in Shanghai opened 8.7 percent lower, while shares in the southern Chinese boomtown of Shenzhen fell 9 percent. The markets had been closed since Jan. 23 for the Lunar New Year holiday, and government officials extended that closure until Monday while the authorities dealt with the outbreak.

Other markets in the region, which have already digested much of the impact, opened lower as well. Shares in Tokyo and in Australia were down about 1.5 percent in early Monday trading. Stocks in Hong Kong opened about half a percent lower.

The damage could be confined to Asia. Futures markets that predict the performance of stocks in the next day forecast a positive opening for Wall Street and a mixed day for shares in Europe.