A motorist wearing a face mask looks on at a gas station in Bangkok on Monday. Mladen Antonov/AFP
The world’s largest economies delivered more worrisome cues on Monday as anxiety over the virus outbreak sent stock and Oil prices plunging and closed sites from the Sistine Chapel to Mideast schools.
Shares in Asia and the Mideast and US futures were down sharply, reports on the health of the economies of Japan and China stirred more unease, and the downturn was being felt by people around the world.
"Our business is one-fifth of what it was before,” said Cheng Sheng, who helps run a food stand in Beijing that sells sausages and noodles. "There’s much less foot traffic. There are no people.”
As the weakening economy was blamed at least in part on the virus that has infected more than 110,000 people, cases were reported in more than half the world’s countries and flash points were erupting around the globe.
In the United States, where more than 500 infections have been reported, eyes were fixed on cruise ships on opposite sides of the country that were kept at bay over fears of virus threats.
Passengers were disembarking the Regal Princess early Monday after it received clearance to dock in Florida. Tests of two crew members eyed as possible carriers of the virus came back negative.
The Grand Princess, meantime, was expected to dock in California with 21 people who tested positive for the coronavirus on board. Passengers were to be placed under quarantines.
In Saudi Arabia, falling Oil prices led to steep drops on Riyadh’s stock exchange. The state Oil giant Saudi Aramco led the losses, dropping by 10% and forcing a halt to Aramco's trading.Associated Press
China moved again to cushion its economy, cutting a key medium-term interest rate to record lows, paving the way for a similar reduction in benchmark loan rates, while reducing the amount banks must hold as reserves.
Stock markets across the world ticked higher on Friday, as investors bet that the damage to the global economy from China’s coronavirus outbreak would not be long-lasting.
Most stock markets sink on Monday with investors worried over the impact of China’s coronavirus outbreak on the global economy. In afternoon European trades, London and Paris were both down 0.4 per cent, while Frankfurt slid 0.3 per cent.
The Labor Department's closely watched monthly employment report on Friday could bolster economists' dire predictions that it would take several years to recover from the economic meltdown. Consumer confidence, manufacturing and services industries are also stabilizing, though at low levels, hopeful signs that the worst was over.
The final day of Arabian Travel Market’s virtual event, ATM Virtual, saw a panel of tourism experts discuss the opportunities in the region to kick-start sustainable investment in the hospitality sector.
The euro rallied to a three-month high and Italy’s borrowing costs tumbled on Thursday, after the European Central Bank ramped up stimulus to shore up an economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.