Sharemarkets could be in for a rough week as investor jitters over coronavirus continue and the Chinese market re-opens after a holiday week.
Craigs Investment Partners head of private wealth research Mark Lister said things could be "ugly" when China's sharemarket opens while the New Zealand and Australian markets will be playing catch-up with the US market's coronavirus-driven sharp fall on Friday, US time.
The Dow Jones index in the US fell more than 600 points or 2.1 per cent on Friday, the worst days since October, wiping out the gains for all of January, Lister said.
"We could be in for a rough week. New Zealand and Australia were closed when the US had its big down day on the back of this and we'll have to play catch-up so we're going to be on the back foot well and truly."
At this stage coronavirus isn't expected to be a "showstopper" for the global economy, he said.
It could lead to buying opportunities for investors "but we're not quite there yet".
Economically sensitive sectors would feel the brunt of coronavirus market nerves, Lister said.
"Anything related to travel, exports, to any business that has customer bases in China.
"It's impossible to predict how this situation will play out but from an economic perspective, the biggest impact could be from the change in consumer behaviour rather than the virus itself.
"Even if the illness turns out to be more subdued than Sars (a 2002 virus outbreak), the Chinese economy will feel the effects of it, as will those countries and companies doing business with the affected regions.
"Travel and tourism will be hit hardest over the near-term. In New Zealand that suggests the likes of Tourism Holdings and Air New Zealand could face added challenges, and to a lesser extent, Auckland Airport.
"Discretionary spending will also suffer as people [in China] stay home on lockdown rather than head out for food, shopping or entertainment. Vista Group could face the brunt of this, while it's harder to estimate what any impact on a2 Milk, Scales or Comvita might be."
Commodity prices, most notably oil, would remain under pressure, along with higher risk assets like shares and currencies such as the New Zealand and Australian dollar, Lister said.
New Zealand's biggest exporter, dairy company Fonterra, said late last week the virus outbreak had not had an impact on its business in China, but that it was closely monitoring the situation.
But the scare is affecting New Zealand's $8.5 billion meat industry with production being cut back a little until the situation in China becomes clearer.
And our live crayfish trade has stopped during the most lucrative time of the year - Chinese New Year - as authorities clamp down on people congregating.
Kiwifruit exports, expected to hit $3b this financial year, are not affected, said marketer Zespri.
New season New Zealand-grown fruit was not scheduled to arrive in China until April and distribution networks for Zespri's Italian-grown kiwifruit remain unaffected, the company said.
Lister said the new virus has emerged at a timeshare prices were at "fairly high levels".
"When share prices are high and seemingly priced to perfection, bad news can be more disruptive than it otherwise would be.
"My expectation is that share prices generally will continue to weaken while people are getting their heads around where this thing ends."
The upcoming interim 2020 financial results of travel and export-related companies like Air New Zealand, Tourism Holdings and Port of Tauranga would be unlikely to reflect any impact from coronavirus, but all eyes would be on their outlook commentaries, Lister said.
He said the sharp sell-off in risk assets last week as investors fled to safe havens had overshadowed a very strong market finish to 2019 and an impressive start to 2020.
Investors had been feeling fairly relaxed in early January with central banks around the world promising to keep monetary stimulus flowing and with a trade detente achieved between the US and China, the world's two biggest economies, he said.
Oil prices had slumped 15 per cent this year, while bonds and fixed income assets had outperformed.
Oil prices would remain under pressure, Lister said.
"Beyond that, a coronavirus-induced sell-off could prove to be a buying opportunity. However that hinges on the outbreak being contained for which the timing and likelihood is unknown at this point.
"The Sars experience suggests the panic won't subside until the number of new cases peaks and begins to taper off."