Coronavirus updates: Chinese stocks plunge on return from holiday, two more US cases confirmed


A woman wears a protective mask to prevent the spread of the SARS-like virus as she walks outside of the Forbidden city (back) after a snowfall in Beijing on February 2, 2020.

Nicolas Asfouri | AFP | Getty Images

This is a live blog. Please check back for updates.

All times below in Beijing time.

12:00 pm: Thousands of healthcare workers in Hong Kong set for a strike

Thousands of medical workers in Hong Kong will go on strike starting Monday if the city’s government does not accede to a demand for a complete shutdown of its borders with mainland China to keep out spread of the virus.

Around 3,000 employees would stop working on Monday, according to a report by the South China Morning Post. If the government does not respond by 6:00 p.m HK/SIN, all staff — including more than 6,000 workers in essential services — would go on a full strike from Tuesday.

11:10 am: Huawei resumes production

Chinese tech giant Huawei said Monday it has resumed production of goods, including consumer devices and other telecoms equipment.

The move was in line with a government directive that allows certain critical industries to remain in operation, amid the government’s decision to extend a shutdown in more than half of China’s provinces and regions in a bid to control the outbreak.

10:40 am: Vietnam confirms three new cases

Vietnam confirmed three new coronavirus cases, according to Reuters citing the country’s ministry of health. That brings its total to eight cases. The country had declared a public health emergency on Saturday and suspended all flights to and from mainland China.

9:50 am: US reports two more cases

Two more cases — a couple — were confirmed in San Benito in California late on Sunday. The husband recently traveled to Wuhan, while the wife did not. That made the total number of cases in the U.S. at 11.

9:32 am: mainland Chinese stocks plunge almost 9%

Mainland Chinese markets plunged on their return from the extended Lunar New Year holiday. 

The Shenzhen component dived 8.69%, and the Shenzhen composite plunged 8.65% in early trading. The Shanghai composite tumbled more than 8%. 

Both the onshore and offshore yuan weakened past the 7 level against the dollar on Monday morning, a key psychological level.

The People’s Bank of China, however, announced Sunday that it will inject 1.2 trillion yuan ($174 billion) worth of liquidity into the markets via open market reverse repo operations.

That will make the total liquidity in the banking system around 900 billion yuan more as compared to a year ago, it added.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission told the state-owned People’s Daily on Sunday, however, that it believed the outbreak’s impact on markets would be short lived. To support firms, it said it would call on corporate bond investors to extend the debt maturity dates, and consider launching hedging tools for the A-share market to ease market panic. 

8:45 am: More Chinese provinces or regions extend shutdown

As of Monday morning, at least 24 provinces, municipalities and other regions in have told businesses not to resume work before Feb. 10 at the earliest. That’s according to publicly available statements from the governments.

Last year, those parts of China accounted for more than 80% of national GDP, and 90% of exports, according to CNBC calculations of data accessed through Wind Information.

: encouraged companies to have employees work from home until Feb. 10.

Hubei: businesses are not to reopen until at least Feb. 14. However, officials said Friday that Hubei would further extend the holiday to an “appropriate extent,” according to state-owned newspaper People’s Daily.

Tianjin: Businesses and schools are not to reopen until further notice.

Anhui, Chongqing, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hunan, Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanghai, Shanxi, Suzhou, Xi’an, Yunnan, Zhejiang: work is to resume no earlier than midnight on Feb. 9.

8:10 am: China markets set to reopen on Monday

Investors are bracing for the reopen of mainland Chinese markets at 9:30 a.m. after the extended holiday, with expectations they will take a battering amid the virus outbreak.

The People’s Bank of China, however, announced Sunday that it will inject 1.2 trillion yuan ($173 billion) worth of liquidity into the markets via open market reverse repo operations.

Meanwhile, other Asia markets tumbled at Monday’s open, with Japan, Australia and South Korea all dropping more than 1%.

7:50 am: China confirms 57 additional deaths and 2,829 new cases

China’s National Health Commission said there were an additional 57 deaths and 2,829 new confirmed cases, as of the end of Sunday. That brings the country’s total to 361 deaths and 17,205 confirmed cases, the government said.

6:54 am: China’s Hubei province confirms additional 56 deaths and 2,103 new cases

The Hubei Provincial Health Committee confirmed 2,103 new cases and an additional 56 deaths in the province through the end of Feb. 2. It said that brings total confirmed cases in the region to 11,177 as the death toll rises to 350 deaths in the province.

Wuhan, China is the capital city of Hubei province and the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

All times below in U.S. eastern standard time.

5 pm: California county reports ninth US case of coronavirus

The ninth U.S. case of coronavirus was confirmed in Santa Clara County on Sunday. It’s the second case in the San Francisco Bay area. The case is in a woman who was recently in Wuhan, China, and visited the U.S. to see family on Jan. 23, according to the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department.

3 pm: Russian Railways halts passenger trains to China

Russian Railways said on Sunday that it would temporarily suspend passenger trains to China from midnight until further notice, including rail services along the Moscow-Beijing route.

2 pm: China finishes building new hospital in 10 days

The Chinese city of Wuhan has finished building an emergency hospital to treat patients infected with the virus. Huoshenshan Hospital will have 1,400 medical staff from the armed forces starting on Monday and a capacity of 1,000 beds, China’s state news agency Xinhua reported.

For more coverage on the coronavirus, read the overnight blog from CNBC’s U.S. team.

— CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng, Eustance Huang and Emma Newburger, as well as Reuters, contributed to this report.

Source: CNBC

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