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Asia Wades in a Red Sea as COVID-19 Losses Continue

imageStock Markets2 hours ago (Mar 11, 2020 10:48PM ET)

(C) Reuters.

By Alex Ho

Investing.com – Asian markets traded deep in the red Thursday morning following another big rout on Wall Street and as the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

U.S. President Donald Trump delivered an address from the White House at 9:00 PM ET (01:00 GMT) and announced all flights between the Europe and the U.S. would be cancelled for 30 days starting Friday amidst an intensifying response to the health emergency.

Overnight, markets in the U.S. fell sharply. The Dow 30 closed down 5.86% and is now in bear territory. The S&P 500 fell 4.89% and the NASDAQ Composite gave up another 4.7%. The Dow is now more than 20% below the record high it set last month.

The losses extended into Asia.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 entered bear market territory with losses Thursday morning of 7.31% by 10:06 PM ET (GMT 2:06 AM). Japan’s Nikkei 225 tumbled 5.59% and South Korea’s KOSPI was down by 4.62%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was trading down 4.67%. China’s Shanghai Composite was down 1.71%, and the Shenzhen Component was down 1.57%.

The WHO formally declared the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak a pandemic on Wednesday. WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference in Geneva that in the past two weeks the number of cases outside China had increased 13-fold and the number of affected countries has tripled.

“We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction,” Ghebreyesus said. “We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear.”

There are currently 118,381 cases of COVID-19 reported globally and 4,292 deaths, according to the WHO.

National Australia Bank’s Global Markets Research economist Tapas Strickland warned of more market volatility in a Wednesday morning note, as headlines around the virus “continue to be on the negative side.”

Asia Wades in a Red Sea as COVID-19 Losses Continue

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