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Asian Markets Rise; WHO Declares Global Health Emergency

By Alex Ho

Investing.com - Asian equities rebounded on Friday in Asia, snapping this week’s run of losses. Overnight, the World Health Organization said the fast-spreading coronavirus is a global health emergency.

The declaration came hours after the U.S. confirmed the first case of human-to-human transmission of the virus.

On Friday, China’s National Health Commission confirmed that death toll related to the virus hit 213, while confirmed cases rose to 9,692.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 0.5% by 10:30 PM ET (02:30 GMT).

On the data front, China’s manufacturing PMI came in at 50.0 for January, in line with expectation. However, the country’s statistics bureau in its analysis of the data said that the impact of the coronavirus outbreak was not fully reflected in its January’s PMI reading, as the survey was conducted before Jan. 20.

Citing economists Chang Shu, Jamie Rush and Tom Orlik, Bloomberg said China’s economy may grow just 4.5% this quarter, down from 6% in the previous 3 month.

China’ stock markets will reopen on Monday.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.2%. Nintendo Co Ltd (T:7974) plunged 4.7% after company CEO said there is no plan to launch a new Switch model this year.

South Korea’s KOSPI rose 0.3%.

Down under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 traded 0.3% higher.

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