Wed, 30 Sep 2020

NEW YORK, New York - Stocks around the world tumbled on Monday as fears escalated over the coronavirus which has led to the lockdown of more than a dozen cities in China, the deaths of more than eighty people, and the number of cases approaching 3,000.

Wall Street was sharply lower across the board. Most Chinese markets were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday, but in Japan stocks fell more than 2%.

The biggest falls were in Europe. The FTSE 100 in London shed 2.39%. The German Dax fell 2.74% while the Paris-based CAC 40 dropped 2.68%.

On currency markets, all the money flowed to safe-have currencies, the U.S. dollar and the Japanese yen.

The Australian dollar, reflecting Australia's reliance on trade with China, fell sharply to 0.6759.

The euro dropped to 1.1018. The British pound dived to 1.3054. The Canadian dollar slipped to 1.3187 or .7583. The New Zealand dollar fell to 0.6544.

In the U.S., the Dow Jones industrials gave up 453.93 points or 1.57% to 28,535.80.

The Standard and Poor's 500 dropped 51.84 points or 1.57% to 3,243.63.

The Nasdaq Composite did worst of all of the U.S. stock indices in percentage-terms, falling 175.60 points or 1.89% to 9,139.31.

In Asia, the Australian markets were closed due to the public holiday in lieu of Australia Day which fell on Sunday.

In Auckland, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was down 70.67 points or 0.59% at 11,807.14.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed down 483.67 points or 2.03% at 23,433.51.

Chinese markets were closed for the Lunar New Year. They have been closed since 23 January, and will not re-open until next Monday 3 February.

The Hong Kong exchanges will open this Wednesday.

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