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Yahoo BusinessJan 29, 2020
Hong Kong's Stock Market Slump Was Not as Painful as Feared
(Bloomberg) -- It could have been a lot worse for Hong Kong's big market reopen as investors sought to gauge the widening impact of the coronavirus on China's economy.The Hang Seng Index fell as much as 3% Wednesday on the first day of trading after the Lunar New Year. Though that was briefly its worst slide on a closing basis since October 2018, the index steadied to end the day 2.8% lower -- matching its loss from Jan. 21. Meanwhile, the offshore yuan strengthened 0.1% to 6.9587 per dollar.While the stock declines were steep -- especially for landlords, travel firms and casinos -- they were by no means unusual for a market that's been walloped by trade tensions and violent protests in the past year. Before today, the Hang Seng Index had on 20 occasions closed at least 1.5% lower since the start of 2019, compared to just 10 times for the S&P 500 Index. A 6.5% loss in FTSE China A50 Index futures since Friday had also set traders up for a more painful reopen.Airlines Scramble to Cancel China Flights as Virus SpreadsTraders said higher-than-average volume helped limit volatility, despite trading links with onshore markets being shut due to the extended holiday in mainland China. It marked the first time since Friday morning that the city's traders could catch up with the risk-off sentiment that has dominated global markets. For some, that meant buying stocks on the cheap on speculation that the economic impact from the virus outbreak will be contained. For others, that's still a dangerous bet to make."It sho

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