Majors’ shares hit on HKEX by coronavirus clampdown

January 30 2020 by Andrew Tjaardstra

Hong Kong listed insurers AIA and China Life Insurance dropped 2.65% and 3.59% respectively yesterday (January 29).

Traders were reacting to the reduction in the number of Chinese visitors to Hong Kong and the likely hit to the economy in China as a result of the coronavirus.

Overall the Hang Seng index declined 2.82% to 27,160.63 over the course of the day; it was the first day back for the market after the end of the Chinese New Year work holiday period in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam had declared a virus emergency closing schools and has closed several border crossings between Hong Kong and the Mainland.

All Hong Kong government employees have been advised to work from home while private firms have been encouraged to allow their staff to do so too.

It remains to be seen how long the emergency measures will continue for as the Chinese government attempts to stop the outbreak as quickly as possible.

In a sign of the short term economic pain for China, British Airways has suspended all flights to the Mainland while the UK and the US have issued advice that people should only make essential travel to China.

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