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Coronavirus: global businesses on alert

Facebook became the first major U.S. company to announce a travel suspension to China as the coronavirus spooked business.

HSBC has also banned staff from travelling to Hong Kong for two weeks - and to China until further notice.

They have also asked staff who recently visited the country to put themselves into a self-imposed quarantine.

U.S. rival Goldman Sachs imposed similar measures, according to a memo seen by Reuters.

The coronavirus - which had killed over 100 people as of Tuesday - has already hit the travel industry - and could put tourists off visiting China.

Asian jet fuel demand has slumped - and refiners' profits have dropped to their lowest in more than 2 years.

Fear of the virus spreading to other countries has seen more than half a million South Koreans sign a petition calling for a ban on visitors from China.

Chinese tourists currently in Japan described what they will do when they return from their holiday.


"(I will stay home) because now it's the policy that Chinese government told the people to do. To avoid any contact between people so we will stay at home."

Stock markets worldwide have been hit by fears of the coronavirus.

Industrial metals have been hit hard and plunged 7% since last week.

Copper the biggest faller so far.

It's dropped 10% from a January 16th high - wiping out all gains made since early December.