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Markets wake up to the impact of coronavirus

An epidemiological calamity could bring about an economic one

By Paul Wallace  

(200224) -- CHENGDU, Feb. 24, 2020 (Xinhua) -- Staff process nucleic acid test chip at the plant of a Chengdu-based biotech company in southwest China's Sichuan Province, Feb. 24, 2020. A newly developed nucleic acid test chip that can detect and distinguish six respiratory viruses, including the novel coronavirus, has been approved by China's National Medical Products Administration. The virus chip was the result of joint work of experts from prestigious West China Hospital affiliated to Sichuan University, Tsinghua University in Beijing and a Chengdu-based biotech company. It was designed and developed under the guidance of renowned Chinese respiratory specialist Zhong Nanshan and epidemiologist Li Lanjuan. The two academicians with the Chinese Academy of Engineering are also members of a national expert team set up for the control and prevention of the novel coronavirus epidemic. (Xinhua/Liu Kun)

Since news of coronavirus first broke at the turn of this year financial markets have behaved perversely. Despite the scale of the new disease in China and its rapid spread to many other countries, equities in America and Europe continued to make gains, reaching new heights last week. Only now do the scales seem to be dropping from investors’ eyes, with steep falls in stock markets on Monday following a reverse on Friday.

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