The rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak in China continues to rattle global markets as investors and policymakers assess the risks posed by the SARS-like virus to the global economy
Stocks around the world took a beating as the death toll from the virus reached 170 and more cases were reported. India became the latest country to report a case — a student in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.
“Markets will remain highly volatile as long as they feel that they only have an incomplete picture of what is going on, and what is going to happen next,” said Agathe Demarais, global forecasting director at the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Read more: Coronavirus: Everything you need to know
China — the world’s second largest economy — is called the world’s factory and plays a key role in global supply chains. Experts say it is this huge presence of China in the world economy that must be considered while assessing the impact that the virus outbreak could have on the global economy.
“China’s economy is very important in the global economy now, and when China’s economy slows down we do feel that — not as much though as countries that are near China, or that trade more actively with China, like some of the Western European countries,” US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said.
Zhang Ming, an economist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, projected the outbreak would cut China’s first-quarter growth by one percentage point to 5% or lower.
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