Asian markets down on virus impact fears. (AP Photo)
Hong Kong: Asian markets fell on Thursday following overnight woes on Wall Street as more negative US economic data fuelled worries about the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
There had already been a spate of grim economic forecasts this week, with the IMF warning of the worst global downturn in a century, and poor US economic figures released Wednesday further spooked investors.
The woes on Wall Street discouraged traders in Asia, where Tokyo closed down 1.3 percent. Hong Kong fell 0.6 percent, Sydney lost 0.9 percent and Taipei shed 0.7 percent.
Seoul was flat, while Shanghai rose 0.3 percent and Singapore was up 0.7 percent.
The latest numbers from the United States, the world's biggest economy, cast more light on the scale of the damage unleashed by lockdowns and social distancing measures imposed to try and stop the spread of the virus.
US retail sales plunged in March while industrial production in the same month suffered its steepest drop since 1946, data showed Wednesday.
Other reports pointed to weak homebuilder sentiment and manufacturing conditions, while a Federal Reserve report said American economic activity "contracted sharply".
"The economic data was nothing short of disastrous," Ann Miletti of Wells Fargo Asset Management said.