South Korea, Iran and now Italy. The coronavirus outbreak that began in China has entered a new phase, spreading rapidly across the globe and hitting major stock markets. Further implications are emerging for investors as health experts question whether the virus is being under-reported outside China and if the number of new cases will fall as the weather improves.

So far, infection rates around the world - observed and expected - suggest it could be some time before the virus peaks, with further shutdowns likely across Europe and the Middle East in attempts to contain the spread. This could hurt economic activity globally into   Q2. If that happens, expect more market volatility and possibly stimulus - both monetary and fiscal - from central banks and governments. Any signs of recession could increase the risk of an unpredictable US election.

Fidelity International

Fidelity International

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