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Chinese stock market during coronavirus: Should I buy now?

Blair Shiff

Asian shares slid Wednesday following another sharp fall on Wall Street as fears spread that the growing coronavirus outbreak will put the brakes on the global economy.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 declined 1.1 percent to 22,357.39, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dipped 2.1 percent to 6,720.70. South Korea's Kospi lost 1.1 percent at 2,080.46. Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.6 percent to 26,722.29. The Shanghai Composite reversed early losses, gaining 0.3 percent to 3,022.21.

With prices plummeting, does this mean it's time for investors to buy Chinese stocks?

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Elliott Wave chief equity analyst for Asia Mark Galasiewski told FOX Business' Liz Claman one only needs to look at past viruses and how they have impacted Asian markets to make that decision. He compared the current coronavirus outbreak to the Hong Kong flu (H3N2) outbreak in 1968 which killed an estimated 1 million worldwide.

"That's a pretty serious epidemic, and yet, the Hang Seng Index -- where the outbreak occurred -- roared after the 1967 low," Galasiewski noted on FOX Business' "The Claman Countdown."

Galasiewski pointed to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, China's second-largest market, which is similar to America's Nasdaq, and how it's outperformed its January highs for more than a year.

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"That outperformance has simply been continuing with the coronavirus providing a temporary setback," Galasiewski maintained.

China expert Gordon Chang agreed people should buy if they can make a short-term profit, but Chang cautioned investors in believing anything China puts out.

"The Chinese government is doing its best to hide information, so I'm not so sure that we can actually say that there are buying opportunities, at least in the long run," Chang argued. "The one thing we know is that China manages its markets. It might manage them up a little bit, but it really can't defend itself against the fundamentals, and the fundamentals are overly negative."

Chang advised, instead, for people to invest in places with more transparent markets "where the economy is probably not going to collapse," which he said is still a threat right now in China.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 879 points, for a two-day loss of 1,911 points. Travel-related stocks took another drubbing, bringing the two-day loss for American Airlines to 16.9 percent. The large publicly traded cruise operators have also suffered double-digit losses.

The S&P 500 index fell 3 percent, the Dow lost 3.2 percent and the Nasdaq dropped 2.8 percent, erasing its gains for the year.

The viral outbreak that originated in China has now infected more than 80,000 people globally, with more cases being reported in Europe and the Middle East. The majority of cases and deaths remain centered in China, but the rapid spread to other parts of the world has spooked markets and raised fears that it will hurt the global economy.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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