February 26, 2020 / 7:41 AM / a month ago

China stocks slide as global coronavirus fears grow

SHANGHAI, Feb 26 (Reuters) - China stocks ended lower on Wednesday as fears over the global coronavirus contagion rose, though losses were contained as new infections fell in China and investors expected a further stimulus from Beijing to support the domestic economy. ** Asia reported hundreds of new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, including the first U.S. soldier to be infected, as the United States warned of an inevitable pandemic and outbreaks in Italy and Iran spread to other countries. ** Both the Shanghai Composite index and the blue-chip CSI300 index dropped more than 1% in early morning trade following Wall Street’s sharp losses on growing global virus fears. The indexes regained some lost ground as real estate and industrial stocks lent support. ** The correction in the U.S. equities could have limited impact on the A-share market, which may remain strong given foreign investors’ continued allocation to yuan assets and cheap valuations of the A-share market, said Luo Kun, an analyst with Fortune Securities. ** There are expectations Beijing will roll-out more measures to bolster the economy, including support for the country’s real estate and infrastructure, he said. ** Chinese policymakers have implemented a raft of measures to support an economy jolted by the coronavirus outbreak that is expected to have a devastating impact on first-quarter growth. ** Helping offset the broad losses, the SSE property sub-index rallied 3.2%, while the SSE industrials sector gained 1.4% for the day. ** Mainland China had 406 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections on Tuesday, the country’s National Health Commission (NHC) said on Wednesday, down from 508 cases a day earlier. ** Outside Hubei, the number of new mainland China cases fell to 5, down for the fifth consecutive day and the lowest since Jan. 20, when the NHC began publishing nationwide figures.

Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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