Thursday 12 March 2020 7:37 am

Coronavirus: Trump's EU travel ban rattles Asian and US stocks

Donald Trump last night issued a ban on travel from Europe to the US in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus, rattling US and Asian stocks.

Trump suspended all travel from Europe, excluding the UK,  to the US for 30 days starting tomorrow to fight the outbreak.

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The president also announced other moves to mitigate against the impact of the virus, including instructing the Treasury Department to defer tax payments for firms hit by the virus. 

However, some investors felt that the measures announced by Trump were vague and “too little too late”.

US futures fell following the announcement, with the Dow down 3.94 per cent, Nasdaq down 3.6 per cent and the S&P 500 down 3.63 per cent.

Meanwhile, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei fell 4.41 per cent overnight while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index plunged 3.41 per cent.

“I think markets are sending a clear signal to the White House that the measures announced today were too little too late,” said Mick McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets told Reuters.

The World Health Organisation yesterday described the coronavirus situation as a pandemic and Italy, where confirmed cases reached 12,462 and deaths his 827,  closed all shops except food stores and pharmacies. 

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The total number of confirmed cases worldwide has reached 126,258, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. There have been 4,638 deaths so far. 

There have been 1,312 cases confirmed in the US and 459 in the UK.