Coronavirus live updates: Fed sees risk to global growth, CDC issues Hong Kong travel guidelines

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All times below are in Eastern time.

  • Total confirmed cases: More than 75,200
  • Total deaths: At least 2,007

Investors’ confidence around the coronavirus may end up being misplaced, the former head of the International Monetary Fund’s China division told CNBC. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rose to fresh record highs, continuing a strong start to the year despite uncertainty around the virus. “It could be a short-term shock but one that ends up having a somewhat longer-term impact,” Eswar Prasad, now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and Cornell University professor, said on “Squawk on the Street.” Prasad said Wall Street believes China’s government will continue to take aggressive steps to prop up financial markets.Prasad said he agrees with that view on policy responses, but suggested action from the People’s Bank of China might not be enough to prevent negative economic impacts. — Stankiewicz

Although the coronavirus had just taken hold when the Federal Reserve met in January, officials already expressed concern about its potential economic impacts. “The threat of the coronavirus, in addition to its human toll, had emerged as a new risk to the global growth outlook, which participants agreed warranted close watching,” minutes released Wednesday from the Federal Open Market Committee’s Jan. 28-29 meeting said. Central bank policymakers said, for instance, that if the virus spread it could hit what appeared to be an improving growth picture in China. —Cox

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines on Wednesday for American travelers to Hong Kong after the city reported its second death from the new coronavirus. Travelers to Hong Kong should avoid contact with sick people, the CDC said, and regularly wash their hands. It is the CDC’s lowest-level travel warning, but it is the first coronavirus-related travel notice issued by the U.S. government for a territory beyond mainland China. —Feuer

Tyson Foods’ CEO said at a conference that the company has seen Chinese ports backed up as a result of the virus, slowing down the import of its U.S. meat products. Shares of the world’s second-largest meat processor fell 1% in afternoon trading on the comments. “There’s a definite need within the country to fulfill customer demand, to feed the people and we are continuing to ship product,” Tyson CEO Noel White said. In the next few years, Tyson expects to see higher demand as a result of African swine fever, which has hit China’s pork supply and global pork prices. Beijing lifted a years-long ban on importing U.S. poultry meat in November. — Lucas

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/19/coronavirus-latest-updates.html

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