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Asian stocks tumble on Trump's travel ban, pandemic declaration

Asian stocks tumble on Trump's travel ban, pandemic declaration

Asian stocks fell during Thursday's trading as the US President Donald Trump decision to impose travel restrictions from Europe to the United States for 30 days added to concerns, especially after the World Health Organization's declaration of the Coronavirus as a global pandemic.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index slumped 4.41 percent to 18,559.63, touching the lowest level since May 2017 during the session at 18,320, where it has so far posted a monthly decline of 22.22 percent.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index decreased 3.75 percent to 24,284.36, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed 1.52 percent down at 2,923.49.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 finished 7.36 percent down at 5,304.63 and South Korea’s Kospi index descended 3.87 percent to 1,834.33.

The decline in Asian equities came after Trump's decision to impose comprehensive travel restrictions on travel from Europe to United States for 30 days in order to curb the viral spread of the virus.

While Trump tried to ease fears about the Covid-19, his travel ban announcement and recall for immediate payroll tax cuts renewed jitters in financial markets.

Regarding the latest updates about the coronavirus, the number of people living with Covid-19 worldwide has risen to 119,133, with 4,285 deaths recorded, as of March 11.

Apart from China, Italy is the country with the most cases of corona, with 10,149 infected cases, followed by Iran with 8,042 and South Korea with 7,755.

"All countries can still change the course of this pandemic. If countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace and mobilize their people in the response," WHO's chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday.  

US stocks closing

U.S. stocks posted heavy losses overnight, as the Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 1,400 points or 5.9 percent to 23,553 points to technically enter a bear market- a phase used to describe a 20 percent decline from a certain peak.

The S&P 500 index fell 4.9 percent to 2,741 points, and the Nasdaq tumbled 4.7 percent to 7,952.

Meanwhile, the euro is trading slightly higher versus the U.S. dollar at 1.1267, ahead of the awaited ECB rate decision later in the day.

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