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Weekly Report - 12 March 2020 (WR-20-10)

Region reels as coronavirus spreads and oil plunges

Conjecture abounds when it comes to the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic. Beyond the issue of preparedness of the region’s respective health systems when it strikes in earnest, is the robustness of its various economies. While none will be immune, much like people suffering underlying health problems, countries suffering underlying economic problems are going to be most vulnerable. Commodity prices are falling on decreased demand, while a precipitate fall in oil prices after a bust-up between Saudi Arabia and Russia this week will complicate the scenario still further for the region’s oil producers. All of this has the potential to produce a wave of protest action that could eclipse that of 2019.

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