WASHINGTON - Stock markets around the world tumbled Monday over fears that China’s coronavirus outbreak is causing long-term damage to the supply chains that are the lifeblood of the global economy.
In the United States, the major stock market indices at one point were down three percentage points on Monday, as investors rushed to safe havens, including gold and U.S. Treasury bonds. The movement in the U.S. mirrored that across Europe and Asia, whose earlier trading days had already signaled the beginning of what appears to be a global sell-off.
The World Health Organization, which monitors global disease outbreaks, has so far declined to label the coronavirus a “pandemic” — its most dire classification. The WHO has said that it now believes the spread of the virus in China has already passed its peak and is on the decline.
In a news conference Monday, WHO chief of health emergencies, Michael Ryan, said, “There is still a possibility that we can contain the virus and interrupt its transmission. But the virus may settle down into an endemic pattern of transmission, into a seasonal pattern or could accelerate into a full-blown global pandemic. At this point, it is not possible to say which of those realities is going to happe/
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