Coronavirus: Oil prices, stocks plunge as anxiety over COVID-19 outbreak mounts

The world’s largest economies delivered more worrisome cues Monday as anxiety over the virus outbreak sent stock and oil prices plunging and closed sites from the Sistine Chapel to Saudi Arabian schools.

Shares in Asia and the Mideast and U.S. futures were down sharply, reports on the health of the economies of Japan and China stirred more unease, and the downturn was being felt by people around the world.

“Our business is one-fifth of what it was before,” said Cheng Sheng, who helps run a food stand in Beijing that sells sausages and noodles. “There’s much less foot traffic. There are no people.”

As the weakening economy was blamed at least in part on the virus that has infected more than 110,000 people, cases were reported in more than half the world’s countries and flash points were erupting around the globe.

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