Saudi Arabia cuts off travel over virus as markets tumble

Coronavirus

A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Saudi Arabia has closed off its air and sea travel to nine countries affected by the new coronavirus. Neighboring Qatar has halted travel to 15 nations.

The moves came as Mideast stock markets tumbled Monday over fears about the widening outbreak’s effect on the global economy. The state oil giant Saudi Aramco led the financial losses, dropping by 10% on Riyadh’s Tadawul stock exchange. That forced a halt to Aramco’s trading. Other Mideast markets fell as well.

The new coronavirus has affected global energy prices, and OPEC failed to make a production cut deal with Russia last week. Global oil prices have suffered their worst losses since the start of the 1991 Gulf War.

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