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Global Stock Markets React Positively to Signs of Slowdown in New Coronavirus Cases

Stocks across the globe are trading higher Wednesday morning on signs that the deadly coronavirus outbreak may be slowing down.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened up more than 200 points in the green, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite pointed to respective gains of 5 points and 65 points. Internationally, the Shanghai Composite Index climbed 25 points, the Hang Seng Index jumped 240 points and Japan’s Nikkei 225 benchmark rose 175 points. In Europe, the FTSE 100 improved 38 points, and the CAC 40 increased 42 points.

Today, China’s National Health Commission announced 2,015 new cases of the coronavirus on the mainland, suggesting that the number of newly reported infections slowed to the lowest rate in nearly two weeks. Health authorities have attempted to contain the spread of the dangerous disease, which has sickened 44,653 people and killed 1,113 people in the country, according to government numbers released Tuesday night.

Travel restrictions in China have reduced tourism, production and foot traffic to stores. Major international brands like Nike, Burberry and H&M have either shuttered outposts or cut down on open hours to help curb the spread of the illness. Factories and corporate offices, on the other hand, have stalled operations, and Shanghai Fashion Week has been postponed from its scheduled start date of March 26.

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Further, more than 400 companies around the world have already seen or forecast a negative impact on their businesses from the coronavirus outbreak. According to data tracker Amenity Analytics, Columbia Sportswear Co., Skechers USA Inc., Tapestry Inc., Capri Holdings Ltd. and Ralph Lauren Corp. are among the fashion firms that have expressed concerns over the fast-spreading illness’ potential to affect operations.

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