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Stocks dive on virus fears and downgrades

Fears about the impact of the coronavirus on domestic and overseas companies have pushed Australia’s stock market below the 7000-point mark on Tuesday, as trading resumed after the Australia Day long weekend. With negative leads from Wall Street and rising fears about the spread of the virus, local stocks plummeted at the open.

While prices fell sharply, investors were actually “pretty calm,” according to George Kanaan on the institutional trading desk at UBS.

A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of a bank in Seoul, South Korea.

A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of a bank in Seoul, South Korea.Credit:AP

“The market needed an excuse to be sold-off and it has, but I don’t think there is any panic,” he noted.

Senior investment advisor at Shaw and Partners, Craig Sidney, said Tuesday’s volumes were modest and he was not surprised by the sell-off given the 1.6 per cent decline on Wall Street’s S&P 500 overnight.

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