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The Nikkei View

Markets' coronavirus jitters presage deeper economic woes

Global policymakers need clear-eyed debate on countermeasures

The deadly new coronavirus spreading through China and beyond has battered global financial and securities markets, raising alarm about risks to the real economy that should not be ignored.

The Shanghai Composite Index plunged 8% on Feb. 3 from the Jan. 23 close, as trading resumed after an extended Lunar New Year holiday. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average sank to a three-month low, with industries that have grown more reliant on China -- such as automobiles and manufacturing equipment -- hit especially hard. The retreat notably extended to airlines and other service-sector companies as well.

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