Oil prices, stocks plunge as coronavirus closes sites around world - GulfToday

Oil prices, stocks plunge as coronavirus closes sites around world


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.


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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.

A woman walks past a large screen showing the trading numbers on the Indonesia Stock Exchange in Jakarta on Sunday. AFP

"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.

A man wearing a face mask walks past an electronic board showing Asian stock index overview and news report on the oil market, in a shopping mall in Bangkok on Monday. Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

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

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