Stocks are sinking on fears of the deadly virus in China: 'Markets are worried about this spreading to more cities' – Business Insider
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Global stocks dropped on Tuesday as investors braced for a wider outbreak of a mysterious coronavirus as hundreds of millions of people travel across Asia to celebrate Lunar New Year this weekend.
China’s National Health Commission confirmed on Monday that the SARS-like virus, which has already infected nearly 300 people and killed at least six, could spread between humans. The World Health Organization said it would meet on Wednesday to discuss whether to declare the outbreak an international public-health emergency.
Travel, retail, and luxury-goods stocks fell sharply on concerns that the disease will temper demand. Airlines slumped on fears of crimped travel plans. Pharma stocks in China rose by their 10% daily limit. A maker of face masks in China surged.
“Markets are worried about this spreading to more cities,” said Neil Wilson at Markets.com.
Here’s the market roundup as of 12 p.m. in New York:
“The worry is this is another SARS, an outbreak that saw thousands infected and led to hundreds of deaths,” Wilson said in a note. “It also led to billions of dollars of losses and hit Chinese GDP growth by up to one percentage point.”
He added: “We don’t know how bad this will be, but with authorities confirming the disease can spread between humans, it’s wise to be on guard for this outbreak to get worse before it gets better.”
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