This Morning in Metals: Stocks reel amid spreading coronavirus threat

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This morning in metals news, stock markets took heavy losses Monday, U.S. raw steel production is up 1.1% in the year to date and concerns abound regarding workers at Baowu Steel’s Wuhan plant amid the coronavirus outbreak.

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Stock markets plunge amid coronavirus concerns

As reported figures of coronavirus cases rise in China and elsewhere — particularly South Korea, Iran and Italy — stock market uncertainty has also risen.

On Monday, the Dow Jones dropped more than 1,000 points, marking only the third time it has done so in a day, Reuters reported.

The NASDAQ fell 3.71% and the S&P 500 fell 3.53%, according to Reuters.

U.S. steel capacity utilization hits 82.0%

The U.S. steel sector’s capacity utilization rate for the year through Feb. 22 reached 82.0%, up from 81.3% during the same period in 2019, the American Iron and Steel Institute reported Monday.

U.S. steel mills produced 14.48 million tons this year during the aforementioned period, up 1.1% year over year.

Concern over Baowu Steel workers amid coronavirus outbreak

According to a report by Caixin Global, workers at Baowu Steel’s Wuhan plant have continued to work as usual in recent weeks, despite being in the city at the heart of the coronavirus outbreak — one that has claimed more than 2,600 lives in China alone.

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Per Caixin Global, 6,000 have continued to work at Wuhan Iron and Steel Corp. despite the outbreak. According to the report, Wuhan Iron and Steel Corp. reported 69 confirmed infections at the company as of Feb. 13.

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