Stocks in Asia declined in Friday morning trade as the number of coronavirus cases in mainland China rose to more than 800, with the death toll increasing to 25.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.42% in early trade, with stocks set to close early at 12:00 p.m. HK/SIN on Friday.
The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell into negative territory as it declined 0.12%, with shares of index heavyweight Fast Retailing declining 0.48%. The Topix index also shed 0.19%.
Meanwhile, shares in Australia rose, as the S&P/ASX 200 gained about 0.3%.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.11% lower.
The moves came as investors continue to watch the situation surrounding a fast-spreading coronavirus that was first diagnosed less than a month ago. The total number of coronavirus cases in China rose to 830, Chinese state media reported on Friday. There are at least 14 known cases outside mainland China, bringing the cases worldwide to 844.