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WHO declares coronavirus now a pandemic

Published March 12, 2020

By Rhys Miles

The World Health Organisation have overnight declared the coronavirus a pandemic. This announcement saw the Dow off almost 6% and officially in a bear market.

The WHO statement was quite blunt reading that they were concerned by alarming levels of spread and severity and levels of inaction, urging governments to step up containment efforts. Not helping equities is the continued lack of detail from the White House around their support package. Elsewhere, the Bank of England delivered an emergency intra meeting interest rate cut of 50 points. The British government announced a 30 billion pound stimulus package to supplement the BOE cut.

RBA deputy governor yesterday stated that the impact to Australian Q1 GDP from the coronavirus will be approx. 0.50%. He strongly intimated an April rate cut of 0.25% is likely. Adding to the pandemic hit to markets is the continued fall in the oil price.

The AUD remains slightly below 0.6500 and relatively unchanged on the cross rates.