The global business travel sector is expected to take a revenue hit of about $820 billion (634.92 billion pounds), with China accounting for nearly half of the losses, as corporates curb travel plans in the face of the coronavirus epidemic, an industry body said on Tuesday.
Business travel to Asia has been the worst hit, with at least three out of every four companies reporting they have cancelled or suspended all or most business trips to China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other Asia-Pacific countries, according to a survey by Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).
The industry group's latest estimate is sharply above its February forecast of a $560 billion hit. The fast-spreading virus, which originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, has killed more than 4,000 people, mostly in China, while disrupting businesses globally.
"Coronavirus is significantly impacting the business travel industry's bottom line," GBTA Chief Operating Officer Scott Solombrino said in a statement.
"The impact to the business travel industry ? and to the broader economy ? cannot be underestimated."
China, which has seen a 95% drop in business travel since the outbreak, is expected to lose $404.1 billion in revenue from corporate travel, followed by $190.5 billion in loss for Europe.
Airline and hotel industries, which typically are the biggest beneficiaries of corporate spending, have taken a major hit to their revenue as the virus continues to spread, the industry group said.
Oil prices climbed for a second day on Wednesday as hopes U.S. producers would cut output lent support, but gains were capped by growing doubts about Washington's stimulus package to fight the coronavirus, which continues to spread globally.
Brent crude futures rose $1.26, or 3.4%, to $38.48 a barrel by 0418 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained $0.91, or 2.7%, to $35.27 a barrel.
They have recouped nearly a half of the Monday's 25% loss, which was triggered by the clash of oil titans Saudi Arabia and Russia.
"Expectations that U.S. shale oil producers will need to trim output helped improve the market sentiment," said Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst with Rakuten Securities.
U.S. shale producers, including Occidental Petroleum, deepened spending cuts that could reduce production after crude prices slumped to their lowest levels in more than three years.
Oil and equity markets staged solid rebounds on Tuesday after the previous day's pummelling, on signs of co-ordinated action by the world's biggest economies to cushion the economic impact of the epidemic.
But growing scepticism about Washington's stimulus package knocked the steam out of an earlier rally in Asian shares on Wednesday.
The fast-spreading coronavirus also weighed on investor risk appetite. The death toll in Italy due to the virus jumped to 631, while China's new cases rose for the first time in five days as infected individuals arrived from overseas.
"The rebound in crude oil is not expected to last long, with Saudi and Russia boasting about how much they can boost output by as the battle for market share begins," ANZ said in a note.
Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday it would boost its oil supplies to a record high in April, raising the stakes in a standoff with Russia and effectively rebuffing a suggestion from Moscow for new talks on production levels.
"Saudi had failed to boost its market share when it temporarily raised output in 2014 as U.S. shale oil producers showed stronger tolerance to tanking oil prices due to improved efficiency, underlining Saudi's limited influence as a swing producer," Ito Mashino, an analyst at Mitsui & Co. Global Strategic Studies Institute, said.
"Still, the breakdown of the latest round of OPEC+ talks won't mean the end of OPEC+ framework...their actions will depend on oil prices," she said.
U.S. crude oil inventories rose in the most recent week, while gasoline and distillate stocks dropped, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday.