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Friday, 14 February 2020 01:20

Asian shares aim for second week of gains amid virus scare

Written by Reuters
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TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares inched higher on Friday, on course to post the second straight week of gains, helped by hopes governments will make provisions to soften the impact on their economies from the coronavirus epidemic.

European shares are expected to rise, with pan-European Euro Stoxx 50 futures STXEc1 up 0.21%, German DAX futures FDXc1 adding 0.3% and FTSE futures FFIc1 ticking up 0.21%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS ticked up 0.25% on Friday for weekly gain of 1.77%.

China's blue-chip CSI300 shares .CSI300 rose 0.69%, having recovered a whopping 95% of their losses made after the outbreak.

The index of Chinext high-tech shares .CHINEXT rose 0.8% to hit a two-year intraday high, led by gains in some biotech names.

“China is already easing its monetary policy and providing more liquidity while more stimulus is likely. Factories are starting to reopen albeit with some delays,” said Yukino Yamada, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.

Japan's Nikkei .N225 dropped 0.59%, not helped by the news of first coronavirus death and signs of a potential rise in domestic infections in the country.

On Wall Street on Thursday, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 0.16% but its futures ESc1 gained 0.23% in subsequent Asian trade to hit record levels.

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