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Stocks hit by coronavirus fears

SHERRYLYN TOPPIN, [email protected]

Stocks hit by coronavirus fears

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BEIJING/SEOUL/NEW YORK – The coronavirus death toll climbed to seven in Italy on Monday and several Middle East countries were dealing with their first infections, sending markets into a tailspin over fears of a global pandemic even as China eased curbs with no new cases reported in Beijing and other cities.

The virus had put Chinese cities into lockdown in recent weeks, disrupted air traffic and blocked global supply chains for everything from cars to smartphones. 

But China’s actions, especially in Wuhan – the epicenter of the outbreak – probably prevented hundreds of thousands of cases, said the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) delegation in China, Bruce Aylward, urging the rest of the world to learn the lesson of acting fast.

 “They’re at a point now where the number of cured people coming out of hospitals each day is much more than the sick going in,” he said.

In relation to stocks, Wall Street’s three major stock indexes tumbled on Monday as investors looked for safety on intensifying fears about the global economic impact of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, United States President Donald Trump said on Monday that the coronavirus was under control in the US, adding that the stock market was “starting to look very good to me”. (Reuters)