Hong Kong stocks closed sharply lower on Tuesday as the deadly new coronavirus took a toll on corporate earnings and economic growth.

The Hang Seng Index fell 1.5 percent, to close at 27,530.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.1 percent, at 2,984. while the Shenzhen Composite Index rose 1.1 percent, to 1,856.

Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed down 1.4 percent – its fourth straight session in the red – a day after data showed the economy shrank in the December quarter, even before the effects of the virus hit Japan.

Elsewhere, Singapore fell 0.4 percent as investors digested the government’s decision to cut its economic growth forecast for this year as the virus batters the city state’s tourism and trade.

Seoul was off 1.5 percent and Taipei lost 1 percent. Sydney shed 0.2 percent.

Investor jitters spread as Apple warned the new coronavirus had hit output and demand in China, fuelling fears over the wider impact of the epidemic on corporate earnings and economic growth. HSBC reporting a 33 percent drop in its profits added to the gloom.

“Best to buckle in as we could be in for a bumpy ride [over] the next few weeks,” said Stephen Innes of AxiCorp.

“I’m struggling to find any research report that doesn’t suggest (Covid-19) could significantly affect short term earnings.” (AFP)