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Shares of Microsoft Corp fell more than 4% after the company warned of weakness in PC business due to a hit to its supply chain from the coronavirus outbreak.
The company echoed similar statements from Apple Inc and HP. The drop in share price wiped off nearly $50 billion from the Microsoft’s market value on a day when broader markets were down more than 2%.
The virus has so far infected about 80,000 people, killed nearly 2,800 and spread to 44 countries, after originating in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.
Apple was the first big technology firm to say the virus was affecting its production and demand in China. PayPal Holdings Inc and Mastercard Inc have also warned about a possible hit.
Several Wall Street analysts expect other technology companies with heavy presence in China to soon come out with their own statements.
Governments battling coronavirus epidemics from Iran to Australia shut schools and cancelled big events as they battled to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
For the first time, new infections reported around the world surpassed those in mainland China, where the flu-like disease emerged two months ago from an illegal wildlife market. It is not on the decline in the country an aggressive containment campaign.
In Japan, where cases rose to 200, there was particular concern after a female tour bus guide tested positive for a second time – one of very few worldwide to do so.
Big gatherings have been halted in Tokyo, Japan’s capital, but it still plans to go ahead with the 2020 Olympics, whose cancellation or relocation would be a massive blow for the country.
“This virus has pandemic potential,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva. “This is not a time for fear. This is a time for taking action to prevent infection and save lives now.”