UPDATE 1-Petrobras halts travel to China amid suspicion of coronavirus in Brazil

(Adds suspected cases in Brazil)

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Brazilian state-owned oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA said on Wednesday it would suspend employee travel to China due to the coronavirus outbreak, as the number of suspected cases rises in Brazil.

Brazil’s health ministry on Wednesday said there were nine suspected cases of the new coronavirus in the country and advised Brazilians not to travel to China. But the ministry said Brazil would not block travelers coming from China.

On Tuesday, iron ore miner Vale SA similarly suspended business trips to and from China.

Both Petrobras, as the company is known, and Vale said that their shipments to China will continue unchanged.

China’s newly identified coronavirus infected more than 6,000 people with over 160 deaths and spread to a dozen other countries, rattling global markets and prompting evacuation plans. (Reporting by Marta Nogueira and Eduardo Simoes; writing by Jake Spring; editing by Diane Craft and Bill Berkrot)