LONDON: More cases of the new coronavirus outside China along with warnings by big companies that their earnings could be hurt caused most stock markets to pull back on Friday.
European markets struggled despite upbeat manufacturing survey data, after virus-linked losses in most of Asia and the United States.
As trading began in New York, the Dow Jones index had given up 0.5 per cent.
A batch of warnings from companies over the impact of the virus on their bottom lines -- including Danish ship operator Maersk and Air France-KLM -- and weaker Japanese manufacturing data also fanned anxiety.
In Asia, the stock market in Seoul fell by 1.5pc as South Korea confirmed 48 more cases on Friday afternoon, adding to 52 announced earlier in the day, and taking the country’s total to 204.
In commodity markets, crude oil prices fell as investors anticipated a drop in Chinese demand.
Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2020