CHINESE MARKETS PLUNGE Rising virus death toll fuels fears for global growth

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The death toll from a coronavirus epidemic in China rose to 361 while the Chinese stock and commodity markets fell heavily, as investors retreated into safe-haven assets in the first trading session after a virus-extended Lunar New Year break.

Chinese markets plunged at the opening in their first session since Jan. 23, when the outbreak of the newly identified virus had claimed only 17 lives in Wuhan city in Hubei province.

The Shanghai Composite index shed 8% to hit one-year low on Monday, wiping almost $370 billion off the market value, according to Reuters calculations. 

China’s economy is facing an increasing negative impact from the virus outbreak, especially on consumption, a vice chairman of the country’s state planner said on Monday.

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