With the coronavirus death toll approaching 3000, South Korea suffering another swell of cases, financial warnings from the likes of Microsoft, and the launch of an emergency response plan in Australia, it was hard to find even a modicum of comfort on Thursday morning.

The fact Mike Pence – whose policies helped lead to Indiana’s worst outbreak of HIV, not at the height of the crisis, but in 2014/15 – has been put in charge of the US response to the coronavirus was arguably the tipping point for investors.

It’s an unserious choice by a President who, on Wednesday night, seemed too blasé about the issue for the market’s liking – especially since former Fed chair Janet Yellen speculated that a surge of cases in America could force the country into a recession.



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