January 30, 2020 / 5:08 AM / 24 days ago

Hong Kong shares extend losses as coronavirus spreads

HONG KONG, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares fell for a second straight session on Thursday, amid weakness in healthcare and consumer stocks, as the new coronavirus spread rapidly and pushed up the total number of confirmed cases in the financial city to 10.

** The Hang Seng index fell 1.7% to 26,693.06 by midday, while the China Enterprises Index lost 1.8% to 10,428.74 points. ** Hong Kong’s de facto central bank said it will continue to monitor any possible impact from the spread the virus.

** In China, the National Health Commission said the total number of deaths from the coronavirus in the country climbed to 170 as of late-Wednesday and the number of infected patients rose to 7,711

** In other markets, Asian stocks slipped while gold and bonds were in demand as worries about the spread of the virus sent investors scurrying for safety.

** In Hong Kong, an index tracking consumer goods and services companies dropped 2.6%.

** Casino operators in Macau slid as the virus spread, with Wynn Macau and MGM China shedding almost 5%

** The U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, as expected, with the head of the U.S. central bank pointing to continued moderate economic growth and a “strong” job market, and giving no sign of any imminent changes in borrowing costs. (Reporting by the Hong Kong Newsroom; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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