Bitcoin prices continue to slide, falling below the US$9,000 [AU$13,700] level following the sustained sell-off by investors due to fear of the coronavirus. This most recent drop comes just days after northern Italy became the scene of Europe’s biggest outbreak of the virus to date.
Meanwhile, the Italian government has quickly imposed measures to contain the spread of the deadly virus. Among them are the prohibition of public events and the closure of public buildings in at least 10 towns in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto.
According to Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza, they issued advisory asking residents in the affected areas to stay at their homes to prevent the further spread of the disease. He said,
“We are asking basically that everyone who has come from areas stricken by the epidemic to remain under a mandatory house stay.”
Crypto and traditional markets affected globally
The coronavirus has already affected more than 30 countries, including Iran, Kuwait, Bahrain, and South Korea. Its presence in Italy has prompted investors and authorities to worry about the possibility of a worsening global pandemic.
Though Bitcoin has recovered somewhat – at press time it is trading in the $8,900 range – it is still down more than 14% from last week’s high of near $10,200. It is not certain whether the leading cryptocurrency will continue its slide or will perform better in the coming days.
On the other hand, the Dow Jones Industrial Average posts a 123.77-point drop to 26,957.59. The decline entirely wiped out the gains made by the index since January. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 also continuously slide and currently trades at 3,116.39.
However, the Nasdaq Composite Index showed some positive signs as it gains 0.17% to 8,980.77. The majority of the stock markets in Europe are also showing signs of recovery.
Mad Money advice: Avoid stocks with China connection
Meanwhile, Mad Money host Jim Kramer advised investors to keep away from American stocks that are too dependent on manufacturing products in China. He claimed that the COVID-19 outbreak would result in supply chain interruptions and a simultaneous slowdown of businesses around the world.
Part of his statement read:
“I need to emphasize, again, that the big risk from the coronavirus outbreak has to do with interrupted supply chains and a concomitant business slowdown worldwide. That means we have to be careful. You don’t want to buy something that’s about to have its supply lines cut.”
Among the companies cited by Kramer as “too toxic to touch” are tech giant Apple and cruise industry players Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Corp, and Royal Caribbean Cruises. Also included are the casino stocks of Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts, as well as bank and airline industry stocks.