Investors parsed comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who said the central bank is “closely monitoring” the potential for global economic disruptions from the emergence of the coronavirus in China.
The rate of new coronavirus cases in China slowed, bolstering investors’ hopes that authorities there and in the U.S. will take the necessary steps to contain the outbreak and shield the world economy.
While “some of the uncertainties around trade have diminished recently,” the viral outbreak “could lead to disruptions in China that spill over to the rest of the global economy,” Mr. Powell said Tuesday in testimony to be delivered before the House Financial Services Committee.
The potential economic fallout from the contagion and efforts to stop the virus from spreading remains a concern. The death toll has surpassed 1,000 and businesses have been slow to resume operations following the extended Lunar New Year Holiday, even after some local governments stopped calling for people to stay away from the workplace.