Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 ( index plunged 3.6% in early trade. Markets in the country were closed Monday for a holiday. )
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.6% Tuesday morning. South Korea’s Kospi ( was flat at market open after closing down nearly 3.9% on Monday, its worst day since October 2018. )
The declines in Asia Pacific followed a terrible day for US stocks. The Dow ( closed down 1,032 points — a 3.6% drop — for its worst day in two years. The )S&P 500 ( and )Nasdaq Composite ( each ended the day down more than 3%, too. )
Oil prices also tumbled Monday — US oil settled 3.7% lower at $51.43 per barrel, while the global benchmark Brent crude settled 3.8% lower at $56.30 a barrel. US futures rebounded slightly Tuesday during Asian trading hours, while Brent futures were flat.
The coronavirus outbreak has been raging for weeks, particularly in mainland China where the vast majority of the nearly 80,000 confirmed cases have been recorded. But the emergence of hundreds of cases in two major economies outside of China — South Korea and Italy — have dashed hopes of a speedy recovery from the epidemic.
The virus has already wreaked havoc on global supply chains and hit company profits. Major American companies are also starting to update their revenue outlooks because of the disease.
— This is a developing story and will be updated.