10 to 16 February: PMIs might provide guidance on the state of the global economy

New cases of the coronavirus rose sharply from Wednesday to Thursday after Chinese authorities changed the criteria for diagnosing the illness. In Hubei province (the epicentre of the infections) the number of cases saw the largest one-day jump, by 14,840, about nine times the number of new cases a day earlier. The vast majority of newly confirmed cases – 13,332 – were retroactively reclassified. By Sunday, the total number of cases was as high as 51,857 with 683 outside of China, whilst the mortality rate remained around 3%.

As opposed to Hubei province, other parts of China still require either gene sequencing or lab tests to confirm the pathogen, meaning not all cases may be detected. The change in the classification approach by Chinese authorities raise questions about how soon the outbreak will peak. One thing is certain, that the retrospective reclassification makes it more difficult to get a sense of the broader picture of the coronavirus’ spread. As the global economic diary is relatively light on relevant macroeconomic data this week, markets will most likely focus on the February PMIs by developed markets (such as the US, UK and Eurozone) to get a sense how the coronavirus could impact supply chains and industrial activity.

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