While China’s new outbreak of coronavirus has been brought under control, other parts of the world have seen the disease spread, with cases in Italy soaring after a surge in the number of confirmed cases in Japan and South Korea.
Italy has become the worst affected country in Europe, with 76 confirmed cases of a new type of coronavirus pneumonia soaring in two days.
A total of 152 people have been infected with the new coronavirus in Italy, including 3 deaths, state broadcaster CCTV reported Wednesday afternoon. Italian health authorities have not been able to pinpoint the source of the new transmission, borelli added.
A patient with a new type of coronavirus pneumonia died in Italy on Tuesday, raising the number of deaths in the country to three, officials said.
Giulio Gallera, a member of the Lombardy regional welfare committee, said the victim was an elderly woman with cancer living in Crema, a town east of Milan, while two other elderly patients in northern Italy had died in the past 48 hours.
The Italian government is taking steps to control the outbreak in the northern part of the country, where more than 130 new cases of coronavirus pneumonia have been confirmed since Tuesday, the official said.
On the same day Luca Zaia, the governor of the Veneto region, said that all social activities, including the Venice carnival and sports, would be suspended from the evening of March 23 until March 1, the worst of his political career.
To prevent further spread of the disease, Lombardy, and Veneto, the regions with the highest number of reported cases, have closed down more than a dozen towns with a total population of about 50,000, requiring special permission for access. Schools in both regions will be closed for at least a week, and museums, cinemas, and other crowd-gathering places have been closed. The remaining two days of the ongoing Venice carnival have also been canceled.
The Italian government on Tuesday issued an executive order blocking access to 11 towns and cities, sending police and the military to enforce access control. And the resident that violates epidemic area blockade limits, will be subjected to criminal punishment.
Lombardy and Veneto are relatively developed regions of Italy, accounting for about 30 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
In addition, Japan and South Korea also cause market concerns. As of 21:20 local time, the total number of confirmed cases in Japan has reached 838, including 133 people infected in Japan and Chinese tourists, 691 passengers and crew of the “diamond princess” cruise liner, and 14 people who returned to Japan on a chartered plane.
In South Korea, too, the picture is grim. A total of 602 people have been confirmed infected with the new coronavirus in South Korea and 5 people have died, according to the health ministry. Another death was reported in South Korea Tuesday evening, bringing the death toll to 6. In addition, a 16-month-old girl in South Korea was confirmed infected with the new coronavirus on Wednesday, the youngest confirmed case in the country.
Amid the rapid spread of the disease in South Korea in recent days, several localized outbreaks have caught the public’s attention. Of the total confirmed infections in South Korea, 326 have been linked to the intensive religious activities of the church in Daegu, more than half of the total in South Korea.
So awesome! Open market collective riot…
Asian markets opened on Monday on fears the disease could spread around the world, sparking riots on global markets as gold surged nearly $40 to 1680, crude oil fell nearly 3 percent, U.S. stock futures fell more than 1 percent, and the Australian and New Zealand dollars fell under pressure.
Gold surged on Monday, breaking through the 1650, 1660, 1670 and 1680 levels in a matter of minutes, nearly $40 above Friday’s close and up more than 2 percent on the day, as investors piled into safe-haven assets amid concerns about the global economic impact of the fast-moving new coronavirus outbreak. But it soon fell back below 1670, up nearly 1.5% or so.
“The market is nervous again because of the potential for the outbreak to spread beyond China,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA. With the slowdown in China, Japan and Germany expected to continue through the first half of the year, there is huge demand for safe havens. Expectations of full central bank stimulus are quite high and this will continue to push gold higher.”
“The fact that gold has continued to rise in spite of the dollar’s strength suggests that the breakout is warranted and sustainable,” Nicky Shiels, metals strategist at scotiabank, said in an email.
“Gold is in the midst of a perfect storm,” said Ole Hansen, head of the commodity strategy at Saxo bank.
Even if the coronavirus is contained in the first quarter, low Treasury yields and weak equity markets could push gold further toward $1,750 an ounce, Goldman said.
Crude prices started sharply lower, with U.S. crude down nearly 3 percent at one point to around $51.65 and brent down more than 2 percent to below $57.
All three major U.S. stock index futures were down more than 1 percent, with dow Jones industrial average futures down 1.02 percent, or more than 280 points, s&p 500 futures down 1.01 percent, and nasdaq futures down 1.12 percent, or more than 100 points.
South Korea today, the stock market and currency markets tumbled. The won fell nearly 1% against the dollar to its lowest level since August. South Korea’s Seoul composite index opened down 2.3 percent.
The U.S. dollar, a haven of late, has not been able to sustain its rally, with a purchasing managers’ survey on Friday showing U.S. manufacturing and service sector business activity stalled in February amid growing concerns about the outbreak.
Bad economic data in the us tends to fuel expectations of fed rate cuts. Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding unyielding gold.
The commonwealth bank of Australia expects the federal reserve to cut interest rates twice in the second half of the year as the virus threatens the global economy.