Petrol. (File Photo: IANS). Image Source: IANS News

Mumbai, Jan 27 : Global oil benchmark, the Brent crude index fell over 2 per cent to $59.39 a barrel on Monday as the death toll due to coronavirus rose sharply.

Chinese health authorities on Monday informed that 2,744 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by coronavirus, including 461 in critical conditions, had been reported in the country.

A sharp adverse reaction from Asian, US and European stock markets has been witnessed because China is entering one of its busiest travel periods on account of its Lunar New Year holiday.

The virus outbreak could hurt demand which may dent global growth prospects.

Deaths due to the virus have revived memories of the SARS epidemic, caused by coronavirus, which killed nearly 800 people and infected more than 8,000 others across the world in 2002-2003.

At 10.13 a.m. on Monday, Brent was trading 2.22 per cent lower at $59.39 a barrel while the Indian rupee was at Rs 71.44 to a US dollar from its previous close of Rs 71.33.

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