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Coronavirus effect: Chinese market unscathed, global markets sink

Shanghai Composite Index (SCE), the benchmark index of China, has clocked a decline of 2.53% since the first case of coronavirus was reported in the country

Aseem Thapliyal        Last Updated: March 16, 2020  | 18:10 IST
Coronavirus effect: Chinese market unscathed, global markets sink
Dow Jones, the US benchmark index which stood at a peak of 29,551 on February 12 has lost 28.25% since then. Currently, the index stands at 21,200

Global stocks are in a state of shock as investors dump equities fearing recession. However, China, the country in which first case of coronavirus was detected has emerged almost unscathed amid a global market rout.

Shanghai Composite Index (SCE), the benchmark index of China, has clocked a decline of 2.53% since the first case of coronavirus was reported in the country. The Chinese market index, stood at 2,962 on December 25, five days before China reported several cases of an unknown virus to WHO. Currently, the SCE stands at 2,887.  

On the other hand, Dow Jones sank 10% alone yesterday after the virus infected US and global economies. Other stock markets have sustained even bigger losses due to the pandemic.

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Here's a look at how Chinese markets managed a strong recovery amid the virus infection but other global markets sank as the infection threatened to bring the global economy to a standstill.

On December 31, the day when officials reported the cases to WHO, Shanghai Composite had risen to 3,050. By January 22, 17 people in China died due to the virus with 550 cases of infections been reported. On that date, SCE had risen to 3,060.

January 22 is also important since China placed Wuhan under complete lockdown to contain the virus.  China took several others measures on a war-footing to reduce the effect of virus on its nationals. But the weak sentiment in Chinese market could not prevent SCE from sliding to 2,746 on February 3, a 10.26% fall since January 22.

China reported 57 new deaths, bringing death toll to at least 361 on the same day. The number of cases rose to 17,205 across the country.

Shaken by the sharp fall in its stock market, China's central bank on February 2 said it would inject 1.2 trillion yuan ($174 billion) worth of liquidity into market through reverse repo operations.

The liquidity injection into stock market fuelled a big rally from the February 3 low and proved effective to calm nerves on the SCE. SCE rose to 3,039 logging a 10.67% gain till February 21 even as death toll in China reached 2,236 as confirmed cases of the infection rose above 75,400.

By February 22, steps on war footing taken by the Chinese government started showing results as authorities said the mainland had 397 new confirmed cases on February 21, down from 889 a day earlier.

However, the numbers surged outside the country, with outbreaks worsening in South Korea, Iran, Italy and Lebanon. From February 21 level of 3,039, SCE has fallen 5% to the current level of 2,887.  That is minuscule when compared to the rout global markets have seen since then on fears of recession.  

Dow Jones, the US benchmark index which stood at a peak of 29,551 on February 12 has lost 28.25% since then. Currently, the index stands at 21,200.

The index fell for seven consecutive sessions till February 28 to 25,409. It attempted a rebound till March 4 climbing to 27,090 but crumbled under intense selling pressure on growing fears the fast-spreading coronavirus could push the economy into recession.

The index has lost 5,890 points in last six sessions. The Dow and the S&P 500 indexes had crashed almost 10% on Thursday.

The S&P 500 plummeted 9.5%, for a total drop of 26.7% from its all-time high, set just last month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 2,352 points, or 10%, its heaviest loss since its nearly 23% drop on October 19, 1987. Other markets in the world, too have suffered massive losses due to economic disruptions caused by coronavirus.

Stock markets in Russia (36%), Brazil (36%), France (30.35%), Germany (29.43%), Argentina (29.31%), UK (28.12%), Sensex (19.51%) and Nifty (19.83%) have fallen drastically from January 31, 2020 to March 12, 2020.

However, the cases of coronavirus outside China are rising rapidly. More than 4,900 people have died and over 132,000 have been infected globally, according to the WHO.

In India alone, total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has reached 81, with new cases emerging in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

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