SINGAPORE (Feb 28): Stock markets around the world have shown signs of distress amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus which has caused the temporary closure of companies in China and, consequently, the disruption of global supply chains and business operations elsewhere.

While Singapore seems to have kept the outbreak somewhat within control, the stock market here is feeling the chill. Following initial news of the outbreak, the Straits Times Index opened 2.25% or 73 points lower at 3,167.02 on Jan 26. Since then, the benchmark has fallen further to 3,122.44 points on Feb 26.

“Covid-19 poses a key challenge to global economies as it has brought on a reluctance to travel and reduced consumer spending,” Jarick Seet, head of small and mid caps at RHB Securities, tells The Edge Singapore. “Singapore is particularly vulnerable because of its open economy that is dependent on external trade. And with reduced trade and spending globally, counters here have had a drop in performance,” he adds.

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