China reported this morning that the coronavirus caused another 254 deaths and had 15,152 new cases registered nationally yesterday. The number represents a high growth in relation to the average of the previous days, due to a new methodology adopted in the province of Hubei, which is the the most affected region and where the first cases were confirmed.

According to the World Health Organization, the volume of confirmed cases of the disease tends to be lower than that of clinically confirmed because the laboratory analysis requires more resources. Still, the news was enough to have a major impact on the financial markets around the world that fear a global slowdown due to reduced Chinese demand.

Gold futures contracts closed higher on Thursday, due to an increase in the search for security among investors and Europe's major exchanges are down more than 1% on Thursday. However, citing concerns about the coronavirus, the European Union said it maintained its eurozone growth forecast at 1.2% both this year and for 2021.