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Potential pandemic fears spook markets

Markets around the globe dropped yesterday as fears over the spread of the coronavirus and its economic impact took hold.
Potential pandemic fears spook markets Potential pandemic fears spook markets Potential pandemic fears spook markets Potential pandemic fears spook markets Potential pandemic fears spook markets

WHO director general Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus at the media briefing in Geneva

Staff reporter

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 1,000 points as it closed down 3.6% yesterday while the S&P 500 fell 3.35%.

The FTSE100 lost a similar amount in London, down 3.34%, the S&P/TSX Composite Index lost 1.6% and Australia's S&P/ASX200 fell 2.3%.

"For the moment, we are not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this coronavirus, and we are not witnessing large-scale severe disease or death," World Health Organisation director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said yesterday.

"Does this virus have pandemic potential? Absolutely.

"Are we there yet? From our assessment, not yet."

Futures are pointing to another day of losses on the markets.

Amid the gloom, gold soared near US$1,700 an ounce on the spot market in the past 24 hours and was last trading about $1,660/oz.

Gold equities were the bright spot on the markets as investors sought the traditional safe haven.

Gold major Newmont (NYSE: NEM) hit a fresh one-year high intraday and closed up 1.66%.

Gold miners Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX: SAR) rose 7.4% in Australia yesterday and in Toronto, Iamgold (TSX: IMG) gained 15.9%.