Market News & Headlines >> Coronavirus Continues to Spread Through China

China’s coronavirus epidemic continues to worsen, and while world financial and commodities markets appear to have come to grips with the issue at least temporarily, it remains to be seen what the full impact of the new virus strain may be. 

Whether the virus outbreak will have an impact on Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural products also remains unclear, with the situation in China still in flux. 

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Wednesday he does not know whether the outbreak will affect Beijing's pledge to radically increase purchases of American farm goods under the phase-one U.S.-China trade deal. "It obviously is going to have some ramifications economy wide which we hope will not inhibit the purchase goal that we have for this year," Perdue told reporters on a call, Reuters News Service reported. 

The number of confirmed cases of the 2019-nCoV corona virus in China continues to increase rapidly, with the death toll also rising. China’s ministry of health on Wednesday reported 5,974 confirmed cases of the virus, up from 4,515 a day earlier, along with 135 deaths, up from 106 previously. The ministry said there were 9,239 suspected cases. 

There are 104 confirmed cases of infection outside mainland China in 18 countries, including 5 in the United States. There are no deaths from the virus reported outside of China. The World Health Organization will meet on Thursday to decide whether its rapid spread amounts to a global health emergency.