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Stock markets stabilize after selloff over China virus

TOKYO – European stock markets and U.S. futures edged higher after another day of losses in Asia on Tuesday amid worries over the expanding outbreak of a new virus in China.

France's CAC 40 rose 0.5% to 5,893 , while Germany's DAX rose 0.4% to 13,253. Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.5% at 7,447.

U.S. shares appeared set to open higher with Dow futures gaining 0.5% and S&P 500 futures rising 0.7%.

In China, the government said more than 4,500 people have been confirmed ill with the virus and 106 have died in the outbreak of a novel coronavirus centered on the city of Wuhan, an industrial hub along the Yangtze river.

The illness can cause pneumonia and other severe respiratory symptoms, and Chinese authorities have extended the Lunar New Year holiday and ordered Wuhan and some other cities nearby to stop public transport and try to prevent people from traveling to help contain its spread.

The virus has spread to a dozen countries, including the U.S. Besides the threat to people's lives and health, investors are worried about how much damage the virus will do to profits for companies around the world.

Even if they're thousands of miles away from Wuhan, foreign companies have plenty of customers and suppliers in China, the world's second-largest economy. Investors have been rattled by the potential for a wider impact from the outbreak.

“How long and how deep the correction lower will last, depends both on the success of China's efforts to control the viral spread, and the prevalence of its occurrence internationally," Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary.

Markets in Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China were closed Tuesday for Lunar New Year holidays, while South Korea's benchmark tumbled 3.1% to 2,176.72 as it reopened after its own holidays.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 0.6% to 23,215.71, while Australia's S&P ASX/200 slipped 1.4% to 6,994.50. India's Sensex lost 0.5% to 40,966.86. Singapore's benchmark dropped 1.7%, Jakarta's fell 0.5% and Thailand's erased earlier losses to fall 0.7%.

Overnight, a sell-off on Wall Street gave the Dow its first 5-day losing streak since early August and handed the S&P 500 its worst day since early October.

Investors are also dealing with a heavy week of corporate earnings. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer reported a loss, though revenue figures were better than expected. Apple will report financial results later Tuesday.

Boeing, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Amazon are also among some of the biggest names reporting earnings throughout the week that includes 147 S&P 500 companies.

ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil rose 30 cents to $53.44 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude oil, the international standard, gained 22 cents to $58.80.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.04 Japanese yen from 108.89 yen on Monday. The euro fell to $1.1005 from $1.1019.