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World|business|February 3, 2020 / 10:16 AM
Chinese markets plunge as rising virus death toll fuels fears for global growth

AKIPRESS.COM - Chinese stock and commodity markets fell heavily on Monday as the death toll from a coronavirus epidemic in China rose to 361 and investors retreated into safe-haven assets in the first trading session after an extended Lunar New Year break, Reuters reports.

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, the epicenter of the outbreak, in Hubei province.

Since then, the flu-like virus has been declared a global emergency and 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 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.

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