Virus fears keep stocks red; ECB gets ready to rethink
SEE ALSO :Kenya’s first green bond starts tradingThe Swiss franc rose to a near three-year high against the euro overnight CHF, but it was trading little changed as the focus in Europe turned to its central banks. Norway’s central bank had already left its interest rates unchanged. The European Central Bank holds its first meeting of the year later on Thursday, where it’s expected to outline its first formal policy review in 17 years. It will probably last for most of the year and span topics from the inflation target to digital money and the fight against climate change. “Quite a lot has happened in the last 17 years,” Rumpeltin said. “They are due for a rethink.” Wuhan ban
SEE ALSO :Airtel Africa profit dips 2pc to Sh33bAs the virus took hold, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.07 per cent. Chinese shares dropped 3.1 per cent, the biggest daily decline since May, when U.S. President Donald Trump's threats of additional tariffs on Chinese goods rocked financial markets. Hong Kong shares ended down 1.5 per cent and Japan's Nikkei index slid 1 per cent. Among major currencies, the Chinese yuan fell to a two-week low, on course for its worst week since August. The Japanese yen climbed 0.2 per cent to secure a third day of gains. Gold and U.S. Treasuries also rose as China blocked travel to and from Wuhan, the city where the coronavirus outbreak originated. Gold later recovered in Europe. Deaths in China from the coronavirus rose to 17 on Wednesday, with nearly 600 cases confirmed. The outbreak has evoked memories of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2002-2003, another coronavirus that broke out in China and killed nearly 800 people worldwide. “The coronavirus has introduced some caution,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney. “There is no reason to expect a global pandemic now, but there is some repricing in financial markets.”
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