Stocks and oil prices resumed their fall on Wednesday due to increasing concern over coronavirus spread. On Wall Street, the emerging market stocks lost 1.25%. Brazil’s Bovespa index tumbled 7%, catching up with the selloff after a long carnival holiday, and the same day a first case of coronavirus in the country was confirmed. Argentina’s S&P Merval fell 5.65%. U.S. crude fell 2.38% to $48.71 per barrel and Brent was last at $53.41, down 2.8% on the day.
A Brazilian government test has confirmed the first case of coronavirus in Latin America, after a Sao Paulo hospital flagged the possible infection of a 61-year-old who had visited Lombardy, in northern Italy. The diagnosis comes during Brazil’s carnival holiday, a peak time for domestic travel when millions of revellers throng major cities for boisterous street celebrations. Sao Paulo stock market, which has been closed since last week, is set to open at 1 p.m. local time. Brazilian shares in exchange-traded funds in New York have dropped nearly 6% this week.
The price of the main products exported by Brazil plummeted after the outbreak of coronavirus in China, the main buyer of Brazilian products, according to BMJ Consultores Associados. Since the second half of January, the price of soybeans fell 5.13%, that of oil 15.5% and iron ore 14.3%. These three products accounted for 78% of Brazil’s foreign sales in 2019, which totalled $177.3 billion.