A board shows the stock movements inside the Shanghai Stock Exchange in the Lujiazui Financial district of ShanghaiImage copyright
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Fears over the coronavirus have triggered a sharp fall in Chinese shares as markets reopened after the Lunar New Year holiday.

The Shanghai Composite index fell nearly 9% before recovering slightly, while commodity prices also slumped.

Manufacturing, materials, and consumer goods companies are among the hardest hit, as healthcare shares soar.

It comes despite China’s central bank announcing new measures to ease the impact of the outbreak.

The People’s Bank of China unexpectedly lowered short term interest rates as part of its attempts to relieve pressure on the economy from the rapidly spreading virus.

It is also pumping an extra 150 billion yuan ($22bn; £16.3bn) into the economy. The moves are aimed at ensuring there was enough liquidity in the banking system.

In total, the central bank will inject 1.2 trillion yuan into the financial system on Monday, the majority of which was already planned. The liquidity boost is the largest single day addition on record.

The bank said it could make more cash available throughout the week.

Global markets have been rattled by the epidemic in recent days, with the US S&P 500, on Friday notching up its worst week since October.

Chinese financial regulators have forecast the impact on the country’s already slowing economy will be “short term”.

China saw economic growth of 6.1% last year – the slowest in around three decades, in part because of its prolonged trade war with the US. A partial trade deal easing tensions was struck earlier this month, but most tariffs remain in place.

China is working to deal with the virus, with more than 17,000 confirmed cases and 361 deaths.

Analysts say the impact of the virus – which has left major cities in full or partial lockdown – could harm growth if it lasts for a prolonged period.

China’s travel and tourism sectors have already taken a hit over an unusually quiet Spring Festival break, while cinemas were forced to close to try to contain the virus.

Meanwhile, numerous factories have suspended production while companies have instructed employees to work from home

Foxconn, Toyota, Starbucks, McDonald’s and Volkswagen are just a few of the corporate giants to have paused operations or shuttered outlets across China.

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Media captionThe BBC’s online health editor on what we know about the virus