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30 Jan, 2020 13:10

Global stocks fall over investor uncertainty as deadly virus continues to spread

Global stocks fall over investor uncertainty as deadly virus continues to spread

Concerns over the rapidly spreading coronavirus continued to spook investors across the globe on Thursday with the death toll and the number of those infected rising.

Asian stocks closed in the red, with most key indices losing around 2 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 2.62 percent, closing at 26,449.13 points. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.72 percent to end the trading day at 22,977.75, while the Taiex in Taiwan plunged 5.75 percent.

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European markets also faced losses as they opened on Thursday. The Stoxx Europe 600 index, representing large, mid and small cap companies across 17 EU countries, fell nearly 0.8 percent, erasing this week’s gains. Indices in Frankfurt, Paris and London were down over 1 percent.

While US stocks traded flat in the previous session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is expected to open 200 points in the red. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 are down around 0.8 percent in the pre-market trading on Thursday.

“I think longer-term wise, we know the markets are going to recover, but nobody wants to ... start jumping in until there’s some certainty there,” director at Pearl Bridge Partners, Andrew Sullivan, told CNBC.

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The number of confirmed cases of the deadly new virus surpassed 7,700 people on Thursday, while the death toll reached 170. The epidemic doesn’t appear to be as deadly as Sars, which left around 800 dead between 2002 and 2003, but there are concerns that it could affect the Chinese economy even more.

Earlier this week, a Chinese government economist said the outbreak may cut the country’s economic growth by at least five percent. Meanwhile, the Russian National Credit Ratings (NCR) agency warned that the global economy will feel the impact if the outbreak is not contained.

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