Asian share markets steadied on Wednesday as investors took stock of the spread of a new strain of coronavirus from China and weighed the possible consequences of a global pandemic.
Fears of contagion, particularly as millions travel for Lunar New Year festivities, knocked stocks from record levels on Tuesday as investors swapped them for safer assets.
The outbreak has revived memories of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2002-03, a coronavirus outbreak that killed nearly 800 people and hurt world travel.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan spent the morning trading either side of flat.
Japan's Nikkei opened 0.1% lower, before steadying to trade flat, as did Korea's Kospi index. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 inched 0.3% higher, while the safe havens of gold and U.S. 10-year government bonds handed back some gains.