Chinese technology giants gain amid virus crisis

Chinese technology giants gain amid virus crisis

Chinese technology firms listed in the US, namely Baidu (+5.61%), Tencent (+3.19%) and Alibaba (+3.15%) leaped overnight, alongside a mild rebound in the broader US market.

This is because tensions eased a bit over the coronavirus outbreak and investors are identifying opportunities emerging from this public health crisis.

There are approximately 200 million people in China working remotely this week, via digital conference tools and mobile communication apps like WeChat (belongs to Tencent) and Dingding (belongs to Alibaba), underscoring the importance of distanced communication and digital transformation in the world’s second largest economy. Technology including cloud computing, artificial intelligence and 5G communications are playing an important role in containing the spread of virus.

Singapore’s market is set for a mild rebound on Tuesday, alongside with the rest of Asia. The fact that no new infection cases have been reported in Singapore over the past two days suggest the virus spread is likely under control and this has boosted investment sentiment.

The Straits Times Index has fallen 4.2% since the virus outbreak escalated on 20th January. This pullback is perhaps a reasonable correction amid concerns that the epidemic headwind will lower economic growth forecast for the first quarter of this year. International tourism, which contributed to more than 4% to Singapore’s entire GDP in 2017, will bear the most pain as a result of travel bans and cancellation of trips and conferences.

Crude oil prices – Brent has broken down below a key support of US$ 56.5 and headed to US$ 54.9 area this morning. The selloff was primarily driven by a slower economic forecast of China due to coronavirus outbreak and reduced energy demand outlook as multiple countries issued travel bans. The OPEC has brought forward a meeting on 14-15th February, in which the committee is likely to discuss further output cut measures to cushion the oil prices. CNBC reported that another half-a-million barrels of output cut could be announced in this meeting.

Alibaba Group Holding - ADR