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Markets enter bear territory

US market futures were up earlier as US president Donald Trump prepared to announce an economic stimulus package “to use the full power of the federal government to deal with our current challenge of the coronavirus!”
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Image: iStock.com/monsitj

Staff reporter

Futures elsewhere were looking glum following further drops yesterday and the World Health Organisation has declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

"In the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has tripled," WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said yesterday.

"WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction."

There were now more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries and 4,291 deaths.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P/ASX 200 have both fallen more than 20% from recent highs to officially enter bear territory.

Metals and mining stocks closed down 5.6% in Toronto yesterday and were down 4.4% in midday Australian trade.

London miners were mostly lower, although Rio Tinto (LSE: RIO) managed a gain of 0.16%.

Copper major Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE: FCX) lost 9.8% in New York yesterday.