An outbreak of coronavirus in South Korea on Thursday raised concerns about the global spread of the disease, with research suggesting it is more contagious than thought and two elderly passengers from a cruise ship died in quarantine in Japan.
China reported a sharp decline in new cases, but the data were partly due to a change in how the virus was diagnosed, and the figures were unable to quell the growing discomfort with its spread.
The foreign exchange market has come under further pressure, with concerns about the virus prompting investors to seek security in the US dollar.
The coronavirus appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December, infected about 75,000 people and killed about 2,100 people.
The mayor of South Korea's fourth largest city urged residents to stay indoors after the number of new infections was tracked to 23. South Korea's deputy health minister told in a press conference that the situation was "very grave." South Korea now has 82 confirmed cases of the virus.