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CORONAVIRUS: China stock markets to remain shut

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ZHENGZHOU, Jan. 26, 2020 (Xinhua) -- Members of a medical team prepare to board a train at Zhengzhou East railway station in Zhengzhou, central China's Henan Province, on Jan. 26, 2020. A team comprised of 137 members from five medical institutions in Henan left Zhengzhou for Wuhan on Sunday to aid the coronavirus control efforts there. (Xinhua/Li Jianan/IANS) by .
Members of a medical team prepare to board a train at Zhengzhou East railway station in Zhengzhou, central China's Henan Province. (Xinhua/Li Jianan/IANS)

China’s stock market, the world’s second largest, last saw trading on January 12, when the Shanghai benchmark tumbled 2.8 per cent in the worst eve to a Lunar Year in its history. Shanghai authorities have separately advised that companies shouldn’t start work until at least February 9…reports Asian Lite News

BEIJING, Jan. 26, 2020 (Xinhua) -- Workers pose with medical supplies they have prepared for a medical team in Beijing, capital of China, in this photo taken with a mobile phone on Jan. 25, 2020. A 121-member medical team, organized by the National Health Commission, left Beijing for Wuhan Sunday afternoon to aid the coronavirus control efforts there. (Photo by Fu Jingbo/Xinhua/IANS) by .
BEIJING, Jan. 26, 2020 (Xinhua) — Workers pose with medical supplies they have prepared for a medical team in Beijing, capital of China, in this photo taken with a mobile phone on Jan. 25, 2020. (Photo by Fu Jingbo/Xinhua/IANS)

Stock markets in China will be shut remain until next Monday after authorities extended the Lunar New Year break by three days in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic.

Stocks and futures trading, as well as interbank markets for bonds and currencies, will resume on February 3, according to reports.

While onshore markets will be closed all week, traders are finding ways to sell the Chinese markets and stocks.

Futures on the FTSE China 50 Index sank as much as 5.9 per cent in Singapore on Monday, and extended declines in after-hours trading. The offshore yuan fell 0.8 per cent, trading weaker than its averages.

In a similar health scare in 2003, during the outbreak of SARS, officials extended a May Day holiday market closure by four trading days.

China’s stock market, the world’s second largest, last saw trading on January 12, when the Shanghai benchmark tumbled 2.8 per cent in the worst eve to a Lunar Year in its history.

Shanghai authorities have separately advised that companies shouldn’t start work until at least February 9.

China is struggling to cope with the crisis despite placing curbs on movement in some cities. In the epicentre of Wuhan, 5 million people left the city before the lockdown, according to reports.

Death toll rises to 106

BEIJING, Jan. 26, 2020 (Xinhua) -- Gao Fu, head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), answers questions at a press conference on the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus outbreak held by the State Council Information Office, in Beijing, capital of China, on Jan. 26, 2020. (Xinhua/Cai Yang/IANS) by .
 Gao Fu, head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), answers questions at a press conference on the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus outbreak held by the State Council Information Office, in Beijing, capital of China, on Jan. 26, 2020. (Xinhua/Cai Yang/IANS)

 Chinese health authorities on Tuesday that the death toll due to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in the country has increased to 106, with 4,515 confirmed cases in 30 provincial-level regions.

The National Health Commission said that 976 patients remained in critical conditions, and a total of 6,973 people were suspected of being infected with the virus as of Monday, media reported.

A total of 60 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery.

Also on Tuesday, China’s Ministry of Education (MOE) announced that the 2020 spring semester for schools will be postponed due to the outbreak.

UN appreciates China’s effort

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said the UN appreciates China’s effort to battle against the novel coronavirus and has full confidence in China’s ability of controlling the outbreak.

KATOWICE, Dec. 3, 2018 (Xinhua) -- United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland, Dec. 3, 2018. Delegates from nearly 200 countries began talks on Sunday on urgent actions to curb climate change three years after the landmark Paris Climate Change Agreement set a goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. The two-week UN Climate Change Conference, known as COP24, is held in the southern Polish city of Katowice. (Xinhua/Jaap Arriens/IANS) by .
United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

In his meeting with China’s Permanent Representative to the UN Zhang Jun, the UN chief said that at this important time, the UN stands in solidarity with the Chinese government and people.

For his part, Zhang said hat the Chinese government attaches paramount importance to the prevention and control of the epidemic, and President Xi Jinping has given important instructions, media reported.

Putting the interests of the people first, China has taken rapid and strong measures, putting in place a nationwide prevention and control mechanism, he added.

The Chinese envoy said China has been working with the international community in the spirit of openness, transparency and scientific coordination. With a great sense of responsibility, China is sparing no effort in curbing the spread of disease and saving lives.

“Now is a crucial moment, and China has full capability and confidence in winning the battle against the epidemic,” the Chinese ambassador said.

Guterres said the UN has full confidence in China’s ability of controlling the outbreak, and stands ready to provide any support and assistance.

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