Global Markets: China increasing measures to contain virus

By MarketsFarm

WINNIPEG, Jan. 24 (MarketsFarm) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– ¬China has now cut off transportation links to 10 cities as the coronavirus situation worsens in the country. As of Friday, the death toll has climbed to 26 people and the number of reported cases is approximately 850. This particular strain of the coronavirus is now called the Wuhan virus, after the Chinese city where it was first diagnosed on Jan. 1. It causes an illness that is similar to SARS. Also in Wuhan, a massive construction operation is underway to quickly build a hospital specially to deal with the virus. At this point the World Health Organization wasn’t prepared to declare a global health emergency. Cases of Wuhan virus were reported in Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam. Pending confirmation, there may be a case in the United Kingdom.

– Statistics Canada reported on Friday that retail sales increased by 0.9 per cent in November. That exceeded economists’ predictions of a 0.4 per cent rise and improved on October’s decrease of 1.1 per cent. Of the 11 subsectors tracked by the federal agency six had increases, including motor vehicles and parts at 3.0 per cent. Also building material and garden equipment rose 2.1 per cent, while food and beverages were up 0.9 per cent.

– The field for the Conservative Party of Canada leadership race has narrowed significantly this week. Former Quebec Premier Jean Charest, former federal cabinet minister Rona Ambrose and now Pierre Poilievre, a high-profile opposition critic has declined to run. The only big-name candidate so far is former cabinet minister Peter MacKay and there are three lesser candidates in the running. It’s widely expected another high-profile opposition critic, Erin O’Toole, will soon announce he’s running. The federal Tory top job became open when Andrew Scheer announced last month he was stepping down.

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