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US markets have shown they aren’t immune to the coronavirus after they experienced their worst days of trade in two years. A total of US$1.7 trillion in value was wiped from S&P 500 during a two-day market sell-off. Increases in confirmed cases of the virus were mirrored in gold prices, which have spiked to a seven-year high as investors move to assets considered less risky amid intense fears of a coronavirus-induced slowdown in global growth.

In a bid to offer assurances, President Trump tweeted that the coronavirus “is very much under control in the USA” and stock markets were “starting to look very good to me!”. Separately, however, the President issued a warning during an address to business leaders in India, where he said: “If I don’t win, you’re going to see a crash like you’ve never seen before”.

Reports of new virus case clusters in Italy, Iran, and South Korea were a catalyst for the sharp drop in global stocks. In London the FTSE 100 had its worst one-day fall for four and a half years while coronavirus fears saw the Australian dollar fall to 66 US cents, an 11-year low.