China market wrap-up
Published: Feb 03, 2020 08:03 PM

Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, the United States, Aug. 2, 2019. Photo: Xinhua

An extended Spring Festival holiday break has proven ineffective in allaying panicked investors, with the Chinese mainland stock market opening on Monday with a precipice fall that was seen largely continuing into the end of the first trading day of the Year of the Rat, despite a raft of measures announced by Beijing to dispel fears over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Shanghai index, after logging its worst opening since 1997 with an 8.73 percent tumble, closed down 7.72 percent, or 229.92 points, at 2,746.61 points. The broad selloff in the marked is the biggest drop since a market rout in 2015. The Shenzhen index dived 8.45 percent and the tech-heavy ChiNext lost 6.85 percent. 

The slump, which remains measurable considering how other markets had reacted to the spreading virus when the mainland market was off, has made a dent in mainland shares. But it is unlikely that the mainland market will continue to witness heavy selloffs for a long time. On sign is the Hang Seng Index swinging back to positive territory on Monday after suffering losses during the previous three trading days last week.

The US equities market, for its part, posted big losses too on Friday amid growing fears over the virus, and is more likely to rebound on Monday.

That said, the all-out effort China has made to contain the virus will be of vital importance to calm the market. The earlier that activity in the Chinese economy, the second-largest worldwide which plays a pivotal part in revving up global growth, returns to normal, the earlier the global market will be pacified. 

Nonetheless, the US set a bad example when it comes to tackling the novel coronavirus, China's foreign ministry said Monday, as it chastised the US government for having been constantly creating chaos and spreading fear by being the first country to evacuate its consular staff from Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, and the first to announce restrictions on Chinese citizens'

The US is supposed to join a concerted effort globally to help fight the disease. In this sense, any moves intended to spread fear will end up hurting whoever is evil-minded. Hopefully all countries on the planet will unite to deal with this epidemic, getting the markets back on to the growth track again.

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