February 3, 2020 / 1:46 AM / 17 days ago

Chinese markets tumble on coronavirus fears

* Shanghai composite index hits one-year low

* Commodities hit daily down limits

* Onshore yuan opens at weakest level this year (Recasts after market open)

SHANGHAI/SINGAPORE, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Chinese stock and commodity markets fell heavily at the open on Monday, in the first trading session after an extended Lunar New Year break, as investors dumped risky assets in response to rising fears about the spread of a new virus across China.

The Shanghai Composite index opened down 8% at its lowest level since February 2019. If the losses are sustained, it would be the biggest daily drop since 2015.

The yuan opened at its weakest level this year in onshore trade.

Shanghai traded commodities also plunged, catching up with global drops. Shanghai crude oil, Dalian iron ore and Shanghai copper all fell by their daily down limits.

The death toll from the new coronavirus in China’s Hubei province rose by 56 to 350 on Monday, Chinese state television reported. ($1 = 6.9040 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Sam Shen in Shanghai, Mai Ngyuen in Hanoi, Tom Westbrook in Singapore and Wayne Cole in Sydney Editing by Richard Pullin)

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