Chinese markets plunge

Rising virus death toll fuels fears for global growth

The death toll from a coronavirus epidemic in China rose to 361 and Chinese stock and commodity markets fell heavily on Monday as investors retreated into safe-haven assets in the first trading session after an extended Lunar New Year break. Chinese stock and commodity markets plunged at the open in their first session since Jan. 23, when the outbreak of the newly identified virus had claimed only 17 lives in Wuhan city in Hubei province.
Since then the flu-like virus has spread to more than two dozen other countries and regions, with the first death outside of China reported on Sunday, that of a 44-year-old Chinese man who died in the Philippines after traveling from Wuhan. The total number of deaths in China rose to 361 as of Sunday, up 57 from the previous day, the National Health Commission said. The number of new confirmed infections in China rose by 2,829, bringing the total to 17,205.

The Shanghai Composite index shed 8% to hit one-year low on Monday, wiping almost $370 billion off the market value, according to Reuters calculations.

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