01:57 GMT04 April 2020
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    BEIJING (Sputnik) – Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index dropped by 7.36 percent soon after trading started on Friday, stock market data shows. The fall took place within the first 15 minutes of trading, with the index having later slightly increased.

    Mainland China's stock indexes have also sunk soon after the trading's start. As of 01:42 GMT, the Shanghai Composite index decreased by 4.16 percent, while the SZSE Component by 4.86 percent.

    The Chinese stock indexes are falling amid the significant drop in the US stock market as well as the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

    On Thursday, three main US indexes – Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P500 and Nasdaq – closed down almost 10 percent each after US President Donald Trump had announced a ban on travel from the European Union to the United States over the COVID-19 pandemic.

    On Wednesday, the World Health Organization declared the spread of COVID-19 a pandemic. The number of cases of infections worldwide has surpassed 126,000 and more than 4,600 people have died from the disease. However, about 68,000 people have recovered from the disease.

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    coronavirus, COVID-19, slump, Hang Seng Index, Hong Kong
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