Global stock markets slipped on Friday after a spike in new virus cases in South Korea and other countries refueled investor anxiety about China's disease outbreak.
Benchmarks in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney closed down and London, Frankfurt and other European indexes were trading lower. Wall Street futures was also expected to dip on the open.
Traders shifted money into bonds and gold, a traditional safe haven.
Bond markets are "sounding a warning on global growth" as virus fears spread to South Korea, Singapore and other economies, DBS analysts said in a report.
Markets had been gaining on hopes the outbreak that began in central China might be under control following government controls that shut down much of the world's second-largest economy. Sentiment was buoyed by stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data and rate cuts by China and other Asian central banks to blunt the economic impact.
But investors were jarred by South Korea's report of 52 new cases of the coronavirus, raising its total to 156, most of them since Wednesday. That renewed concern the infection is spreading in South Korea, Singapore and other Asian economies. New cases were also recorded further afield, from Italy to Iran.
In Europe, the FTSE 100 in London sank 0.2% to 7,422 and Frankfurt's DAX lost 0.1% to 13,656. France's CAC 40 tumbled 0.1% to 6,054.
Losses were trimmed after a survey showed that business activity in the eurozone improved in February despite the disruption from the virus outbreak. In particular, the slump in Germany's manufacturing sector seemed to ease, though the ultimate impact of the outbreak on companies remains still unclear.
On Wall Street, the futures for the benchmark S&P 500 index and for the Dow Jones Industrial Average both lost 0.3%.
In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 declined 0.4% to 23,386.74 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng sank 1.1% to 27,308.81. In Seoul, the Kospi lost 1.5% to 2,162.84.
The Shanghai Composite Index bucked the regional trend, climbing 0.3% to 3,039.67.
The S&P-ASX 200 in Sydney lost 0.3% to 7,139.00. New Zealand advanced while Southeast Asian markets declined.
A measure of Japan's manufacturing activity tumbled to an eight-year low and a companion gauge of service industries dropped even more sharply.
The decline "underlines that the coronavirus has started to weaken activity," Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics said in a report.
The airline industry association estimated that the virus outbreak will cost the sector some $29 billion in revenue.
To contain the disease, China starting in late January cut off most access to Wuhan, the central city where the first cases occurred, and extended the Lunar New Year holiday to keep factories and offices closed and workers at home.
Some Chinese factories and other businesses are reopening but restrictions that in some areas allow only one member of a household out each day still are in place. Forecasters say auto manufacturing and other industries won't return to normal until at least mid-March.
A rise in new cases in Beijing, the capital, "raises alarm" because it suggests major Chinese cities "may be under pressure to contain the virus amidst returning workers" as companies reopen, Mizuho Bank said in a report.
In energy markets, the benchmark U.S. crude contract lost $1.00 to $52.88 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 49 cents on Thursday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, lost $1.13 to $58.18 per barrel in London. It rose 19 cents the previous session.
The dollar declined to 111.87 yen from Thursday's 112.09 yen. The euro rose to $1.0807 from $1.0790.
China on Friday suspended more punitive tariffs on imports of U.S. industrial goods in response to a truce in its trade war with Washington that threatened global economic growth.
Financial markets have welcomed announcements by both sides of reductions in penalties on each other's goods, though they have yet to resolve much of the conflict that erupted in 2018 over Beijing's technology ambitions and trade surplus.
Goods affected by the latest reduction include industrial components and medical and factory equipment, according to the Finance Ministry. It gave no details of the value of goods affected but said penalties were suspended for one year, effective Feb. 28.
The cuts come as China struggles with the mounting cost of measures imposed to contain a virus outbreak that has closed factories, stores and other businesses.
Under their "Phase 1" agreement signed in January, Washington agreed to cancel additional tariff hikes and Beijing committed to buy more American farm exports. U.S. officials said China also committed to addressing complaints about its technology policies.
Last week, the Trump administration reduced penalties on some Chinese imports.
In an earlier tariff cut, China announced Feb. 6 it would reduce duties on $75 billion of U.S. goods as part of a trade truce with Washington.
The season -6 of Walton digital campaign aiming to create online database of customers has been started recently across the country.
Under the campaign’s season-6, customers will be able to get Tk 35 lakh worth different amount of cash vouchers by purchasing Walton brand fridge, television and air conditioners (AC) and registering them from 20 February.
These customers’ benefits were disclosed at a ‘Declaration Program’ of Digital Campaign Season-6 at the conference room of Walton Corporate Office in the capital on Thursday.
During the campaign, Walton products’ bar code, along with the customer’s name, address and contact number, have been stored on the Walton server. As a result, the users of Walton products will easily get the desired service after purchase even if their warranty card is lost.
Customer database will also help the service center’s representatives to gather customers’ feedback about their respective Walton products’ services.
Digital Campaign’s Chief Coordinator Ariful Ambia said “Walton has been conducting the digital campaign across the country from the month of October, 2017. Already, five seasons of the campaign have been completed successfully.”
Walton has been offering one-year replacement guaranty and 12 years guaranty for fridge compressors are available on Walton fridge. The customers of Walton AC also enjoy 6 months replacement guaranty and maximum 10 years guaranty for compressors. TV customers get 6 months replacement guaranty, along with maximum 4 years guaranty on TV panels and 5-year service warranty.
Walton has 73 service points across the country to provide best after-sales service.
Shares were mixed Thursday in Asia after Wall Street recovered to record highs, but worries persist about damage to the regional economy from the new virus that began in China.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.3% to 23,474.78, shedding bigger early gains. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.2% to 7,159.00 and the Shanghai Composite index picked up 0.5% to 2,989.31. But South Korea's Kospi lost 0.7% to 2,194.41. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dipped 0.8% to 27,431.60 and India's Sensex lost 0.2% to 41,264.54. Shares also fell in Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore but rose in Jakarta.
Overnight, U.S. stocks shook off their latest virus-induced losses, breaching new record highs.
Technology stocks led the rally, as Apple rallied to recover most of its loss from the prior day. It dropped Tuesday after warning that revenue this quarter would fall short of forecasts due to the viral outbreak centered in China.
Worries remain about how disruptive the virus will be for manufacturing, travel and other economic activity across the region, but markets around the world rose as the number of new virus cases in China fell Wednesday. Expectations are also high that China and other central banks around the world will limit the economic damage through injections of cash into markets, lower interest rates and other stimulus measures, said Shawn Cruz, manager of trader strategy at TD Ameritrade.
The S&P 500 rose 0.5% to 3,386.15, surpassing its record set last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4% to 29,348.03. The Nasdaq climbed 0.9% to 9,817.18 and also set a record.
"I think markets are a little too rosy now," Cruz said. "There is this assumption that the actual impact won't be much, and if there is one, central banks will be able to step in and keep us alive."
The companies most at risk to slowdowns in China are also those that have grown to become some of the biggest components of the S&P 500. That gives their movements outsized effects on index funds, Cruz said.
For now, at least, investors seem to be confident that China's central bank, the Federal Reserve and other central banks can prop up the economy.
China cut its loan prime rate to 4.05% from 4.15% on Thursday, a move aimed at mitigating the economic damage from the COVID-19 sickness that is spreading mostly in China.
Low rates have been a key underpinning for the strong U.S. stock market, which has rallied even though growth in corporate profits has been weak. The Fed released minutes Wednesday afternoon from its last policy meeting, where officials said they see the current level of monetary policy "as likely to remain appropriate for a time," at least until data on the economy shows a change in momentum.
Treasury yields rose Wednesday morning following a pair of stronger-than-expected reports on the U.S. economy. One showed stronger housing construction data than economists expected, while another showed inflation was higher than expected on the wholesale level in January.
But yields moderated as the day progressed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury was steady at 1.55% on Thursday.
A sluggish global economy has put the spotlight on companies that are nevertheless able to produce strong revenues and profit growth, and that's why tech stocks have been the market's biggest stars for years.
On Wednesday, they once again helped pace the market. Besides Apple's 1.4% gain, Nvidia jumped 6.1% and Advanced Micro Devices rose 3.5%. As a group, tech stocks in the S&P 500 climbed 1.1% for the second-largest gain among the 11 sectors that make up the index.
Tech stocks in the S&P 500 have surged 47.7% over the last 12 months, nearly double the rise for any of the index's other sectors.
Energy stocks in the S&P 500 jumped 1.3%. They climbed with the price of crude oil, while Concho Resources leaped 7.6% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after reporting stronger quarterly results than analysts expected.
The sector has been struggling as worries about weaker demand have weighed on the price of oil. Energy stocks have lost 15.5% over the last 12 months, the only sector in the S&P 500 to be down over that time.
ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil added 15 cents to $53.64 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It jumped $1.20 to $53.49 overnight. Brent crude oil, the international standard, rose 8 cents to $59.20 a barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar edged up to 111.36 Japanese yen from 110.34 yen on Wednesday. The euro weakened slightly to $1.0798 from $1.0805.
Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) Rajshahi zone on Wednesday held a business development conference of agent banking and workshop at a local Convention Hall in Rajshahi.
The workshop was held on the prevention of money laundering and combating financing of terrorism which was presided over by Md Mahbub ul Alam, Managing Director & CEO of the Bank.
Professor Md. Nazmul Hassan, PhD, Chairman of the Bank addressed the program as the chief guest where Dr Areef Suleman, Professor Dr Qazi Shahidul Alam, Dr Tanveer Ahmad, Professor Dr Mohammad Saleh Jahur, Professor Dr Md Fashiul Alam, Directors of IBBL and AHM Rafiqul Islam, Joint Director of Bangladesh Bank were present as special guests.
Abu Reza Md Yeahia, Deputy Managing Director, Md Kawsar Ul Alam, Head of Rajshahi zone and Md Mahboob Alam, Head of Agent Banking Division of the Bank also addressed the programme.