(London) AFP: Asian and European markets mostly fell Monday with investors worried over the impact of China’s coronavirus outbreak on the global economy.
At midday in Europe, London was down 0.2 percent, Paris dipped 0.4 percent, and Frankfurt slid 0.3 percent.
“Coronavirus concerns are weighing,” noted CMC Markets UK analyst David Madden. “The deepening health crisis is chipping away at market confidence.
“In London, stocks that are connected to China are under pressure. Mining, energy as well as travel stocks are in the red.”
The virus has killed more than 900 people, infected more than 40,000 across mainland China and spread to more than two dozen countries in what has been termed a global health emergency.
It has also jolted major supply chains for everything from food and household supplies to car and electronics parts.
In Asia, Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed 0.6 percent down, while Hong Kong pared some losses, ending the day 0.6 percent lower after tanking 1.1 percent at the open.
Shanghai however rebounded after opening lower and ended with a 0.5-percent gain at the close. Investors around the world have been watching with concern as China, the world’s second-largest economy, battles the novel coronavirus, which emerged at the end of last year in the central city of Wuhan.
The domestic impact was reflected in China’s inflation figures released Monday, which showed the highest rise in consumer prices in more than eight years, with food prices spiking more than 20 percent.
It has also disrupted the supply chains of major global firms such as Apple supplier Foxconn and auto giant Toyota. Key production facilities across China have been temporarily closed, with authorities imposing lockdowns and quarantine measures.
Depressed economic activity in China, the world’s largest importer and consumer of oil, has also hit energy markets.
A committee appointed by OPEC recommended additional output cuts on Saturday, citing the negative impact of the epidemic on economic activity.
Both main contracts, West Texas Intermediate and Brent Crude, were down by around half a percentage point on Monday.
Separately, cryptocurrency bitcoin rallied to stand above $10,000 for the first time since September, though analysts did not attribute the move to anything in particular.