Global oil demand outlook slashed, Chinese Grand Prix postponed


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A woman wearing a mask is seen as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Shanghai, China February 10, 2020.

Aly Song | Reuters

This is a live blog. Please check back for updates.

All times below are in Eastern time.

Total confirmed cases: More than 45,000
Total deaths: At least 1,115

9:05 am: Quarantined cruise ship passengers say ‘it’s terrifying’

Two passengers aboard the quarantined Princess Cruises ship that’s docked in Japan told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that containment measures to prevent the new coronavirus from spreading have failed. Gay Courter said many passengers on the ship, including her husband, Phil, and herself, haven’t been tested for the deadly virus outside of initial temperature taking. “We take our temperature once a day, voluntarily,” Phil Courter said. “We are supposed to call if our temperature goes higher than the standard they’ve set. But that’s voluntary, there’s nobody checking on anybody. Frankly, it’s terrifying,” he added.  — Bursztynsky

8:14 am: OPEC slashes oil demand forecast

OPEC has dramatically lowered its forecast for oil demand growth this year, citing China’s coronavirus outbreak as the “major factor” behind its decision. In a closely-watched monthly report published Wednesday, the Middle East-dominated producer group downwardly revised its outlook for global oil demand growth to 990,000 barrels per day in 2020. That’s down by 230,000 bpd from the previous month’s estimate. The amended forecast is likely to reinforce the case for OPEC and allied non-OPEC producers, including Russia, to impose additional output cuts sooner rather than later. “The impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on China’s economy has added to the uncertainties surrounding global economic growth in 2020, and by extension global oil demand growth in 2020,” OPEC said in the report. — Meredith

7:55 am:  Diamond Princess cruise ship cases climb to 175

Another 39 people have tested positive for the coronavirus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Japan, with one quarantine officer also infected, bringing the total to 175, the health ministry said. About 3,700 people are on board the cruise ship, which usually has a crew of 1,100 and a passenger capacity of 2,670. Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said in parliament that he wanted to expand testing to all passengers and crew on board, and that authorities could muster resources to do more than 1,000 tests a day, according to national broadcaster NHK. The British-flagged Diamond Princess is managed by Princess Cruise Lines, one of the world’s largest cruise lines and a unit of Carnival Corp. — Reuters

7:50 am: Motor racing-Chinese Grand Prix postponed

Formula One’s Chinese Grand Prix has been postponed due to the recent outbreak of coronavirus in the country, the organiaers said. The FIA and Formula One said in a statement that they had jointly decided to
postpone the race, which was scheduled for April 19 at the Shanghai International Circuit.  “As a result of continued health concerns and with the World Health Organisation declaring the coronavirus as a global health emergency, the FIA and Formula 1 have taken these measures,” the two bodies said.  — Reuters

7:10 am: Cruise ship stranded at sea reportedly allowed to dock in Cambodia

A cruise ship that had been turned away from a number of different countries over fears someone on board might be infected with the coronavirus has received permission to dock in Cambodia, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing the Holland America Line. The MS Westerdam cruise ship, which is reported to have 1,455 passengers and 802 crew members on board, will dock in Cambodia to allow passengers to disembark. The ship, which has said it does not have any sick passengers, had been turned away from Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and the island territory of Guam.

6:30 am: Singapore’s United Overseas Bank keeps $2.2 billion aside for firms hit by coronavirus

Singapore’s United Overseas Bank has allocated 3 billion Singapore dollars ($2.2 billion) to provide businesses in the city-state with relief assistance as China’s coronavirus continues to spread internationally. “In the face of the likely economic fallout and its impact on industries and businesses, UOB sees the need to help its corporate clients, in particular the SMEs (small-and-medium enterprises), in addressing their near-term liquidity needs,” the bank said in a statement, Reuters reported Wednesday. 

Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific team overnight here: China warns of ‘grim’ job market for graduates, death toll at 1,113.

Reuters and CNBC’s Jessica BursztynskySam Meredith, Saheli Roy Choudhury, Eunice Yoon and Christine Wang contributed to this article.

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