The Wider World

Stocks plunge on coronavirus fears

STOCKS on Monday continued their steep declines in the wake of concerns about the coronavirus and falling stock prices (Shutterstock).

Fears over the coronavirus and the drop in oil prices sent financial markets reeling again on Monday. According to the Associated Press, the Dow Jones Average was down by 7.8 percent by late morning, the steepest decline since 2008 and the onset of the Great Recession.

The fall also triggered a temporary automatic stop to trading.

Oil prices – in part reflecting the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak – have fallen by 25 percent in recent days.

Also on Monday, four more people were reported to have died from what’s officially termed COVID-19, bringing the total number of fatalities in the United States to 26. Twenty-two have been in Washington state.

In California, a woman in Santa Clara suffered a coronavirus-related death, the second in the Golden State. Two Florida women died also. About 600 people have been infected by the virus in the U.S., officials say.

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