New York ebola scare hits Singapore and other Asian markets

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on October 15, 2014 in New York City. Asian markets fell or had their gains pared on Friday morning after reports of the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the world's financial hub of New York
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on October 15, 2014 in New York City. Asian markets fell or had their gains pared on Friday morning after reports of the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the world's financial hub of New York. -- PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian markets fell or had their gains pared on Friday morning after reports of the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the world's financial hub of New York.

Singapore stocks fell on opening despite a big rally on Wall Street overnight falling about 26 points before recovering some ground, with the Straits Times Index trading 16 points down, or 0.5 per cent, at 3,220.29 at 10.40am.

Earlier, Tokyo shares rose strongly on opening on the back of a weaker yen but its advance was capped to 0.7 per cent at 15,241.94 points at 0129 GMT. Shates in Hong Kong fell 0.5 per cent.

A physician with Doctors without Borders who returned to the United States after treating Ebola patients in Guinea tested positive for the virus, the New York Times said., sending US stock futures lower.

The first confirmed Ebola case in America's largest city and financial capital highlighted the spread of the disease and sparked renewed concerns in the Japanese market.

"The fears are there, and they're firmly in investors'heads," said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Asset Management in Tokyo.

Tokyo-listed shares in firms manufacturing Ebola-related products jumped in response. Air filter manufacturer Airtech Japan Ltd leapt 13.14 per cent, while health protection device maker Shigematsu Works Co Ltd soared 10 per cent.

The yen was at 107.92 against the US dollar, pulling away from two-week lows against the dollar hit early on Friday as U.S. stock futures tumbled on reports of the New York Ebola diagnosis. (ID: nL3N0SJ16I) The Japanese currency had come under renewed pressure overnight after Wall Street gains reduced demand for the safe haven currency.