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The Economic Consequences of the Coronavirus Are Likely Going to Hit Africa Very Hard

A pedestrian walks in front of an electric quotation board displaying share prices of world bourses, including the Tokyo Stock Exchange (top C), along a street in Tokyo on January 27, 2020. 

The broad sell-off that rattled global stock markets on Monday due to growing investor anxiety over the fallout from the rapidly escalating coronavirus crisis in China highlights Africa’s economic vulnerability in this rapidly escalating crisis, particularly in those countries where China is the largest trading partner.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange plunged by as much as 2.6% on Monday, the steepest decline in more than eight months. Investors are clearly worried about the exposure that many South African companies have to China, the source of the deadly viral outbreak that threatens to slow economic growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

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