Top 10 ASX stocks impacted by the Coronavirus

As the Coronavirus crisis intensifies and global markets tumble, we look at ten of the potentially most impacted stocks listed on the ASX.

ASX 200 at a glance

It’s been a brutal couple of days for local investors.

When the market opened today, the ASX 200 fell another 163 points – adding to its approximately 160 point loss from the day prior. Even gold stocks, which performed strongly during Monday’s sell-down, couldn’t escape the bearish atmosphere today, falling in step with other equities.

And though the blue-chip benchmark managed to claw back some of its early losses before 12:00 AEDT, the ASX 200 remained firmly in the red, hovering around the 6,892 point mark a little after noon.

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With all this in mind, below we examine some of the most impacted stocks on the Aussie market over the last two days.

The bearish side: travel, tech and wine

Travel stocks were always going to be impacted by the Coronavirus threat – the question was simply by how much.

Yesterday, we got some idea of by how much: Webjet's (ASX: WEB) share price fell 8.29%, Flight Centre's (ASX: FLT) stock fell 4.94% and Sydney Airport (ASX: SYD) actually saw its stock close flat (though its share price fell today).

As part of Webjet’s first-half results, for example, the company noted that it expected the Coronavirus to impact H2 earnings, with the company reducing second-half EBITDA estimates by $7 million to $15 million, as a result.

Flight Centre's management took a more sweeping approach, noting that Corporate and Leisure Travel; as well as Cross Hotels and Resorts 'could be affected' by the Coronavirus.

Yet the full extent of this impact remains hard to fully quantify, management noted, saying:

'It is impossible to predict the virus's impact on our business or on leisure and corporate travel in general at this early stage.’

Treasury Wine Estates (ASX: TWE), which relies heavily on the Chinese wine market, has also seen its stock sold down strongly in recent weeks. Though the first catalyst of this decline was an earnings downgrade, volatile price action around the stock looks to have been compounded by the spread of the Coronavirus.

Namley, as we wrote previously and citing research from Morgan Stanley, TWE’s growth prospects:

‘Remains offset against two key risks, including: the potential for further guidance downgrades off the back of the coronavirus threat and “management turnover” risk.’

Finally, and as Bell Potter wrote today, 'technology and airline shares in particular were under significant pressure [overnight], with Apple and Microsoft losing around 4.5%.’

The Aussie market’s proclivity for following the US was on full show here, as the ASX FAANG equivalents (WAAAX stocks) fell steeply in the opening hours of trade – though many of these stocks sharply rebounded as the day wore on.

Afterpay (ASX: APT) dropped before rebounding, the same applied to Appen (ASX: APX), with its stock in the green around noon, after the company reported a robust set of FY19 growth figures, while Wisetech Global (ASX: WTC) continued its downward trajectory, falling as much as 4.60% during the morning session.

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The ‘less’ bearish side: gold stocks

Though travel and tech stocks have been some of the worst hit in the last few days; as investors look to hedge against growing uncertainty, some of the most prominent ASX-listed gold stocks have been pushed higher.

Yesterday, Saracen Mineral (ASX: SAR) rose 7.3%, Regis Resources (ASX: RRL) added 4.4%, and Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM) ran up 5%.

Yet even this side of the market looks marred by volatility, today most of those gold stocks fell into the red.

The markets, after all, are endlessly surprising.


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