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Coronavirus spreads in three continents, US$ 5 trillion wiped off markets


Jumat, 28 Februari 2020 / 17:08 WIB
Coronavirus spreads in three continents, US$ 5 trillion wiped off markets
ILUSTRASI. Ilustrasi coronavirus

Sumber: Reuters | Editor: Anna Suci Perwitasari

KONTAN.CO.ID - BEIJING. Countries on three continents reported their first cases of the coronavirus on Friday as the world prepared for a pandemic and investors dumped equities in expectation of a global recession.

Coronavirus panic sent world share markets crashing again, compounding their worst week since the 2008 global financial crisis and bringing the wipeout to US$ 5 trillion.

Hopes that the epidemic that started in China late last year would be over in months, and that economic activity would quickly return to normal, have been shattered as the number of international cases have spiralled.

"Investors are trying to price in the worst-case scenario and the biggest risk is what happens now in the United States and other major countries outside of Asia," said SEI Investments Head of Asian Equities John Lau.

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"These are highly uncertain times, no one really knows the answer and the markets are really panicking."

Mainland China reported 327 new cases, the lowest since Jan. 23, taking its tally to more than 78,800 cases with almost 2,800 deaths.

But as the outbreak eases in China it is surging elsewhere.

Four more countries reported their first cases, taking the number of countries and territories outside China with infections to 55, with more than 4,200 cases killing about 70 people.

Countries other than China now account for about three-quarters of new infections.

An Italian man who arrived in Nigeria was confirmed as the first coronavirus case in Africa's most populous country. And a person who returned on a flight from Iran became the first in New Zealand.

In eastern Europe, Belarus and Lithuania reported their first cases.

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World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said all nations should prepare.

"This virus has pandemic potential," Tedros said in Geneva on Thursday. "This is not a time for fear. This is a time for taking action to prevent infection and save lives now."

Ratings agency Moody's said a pandemic - usually taken to mean a disease spreading quickly in different places - would trigger global and U.S. recessions in the first half of the year.



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