Coronavirus crash wipes $5 trillion off world stocks
LONDON: Coronavirus panic sent world share markets skidding again on Friday, compounding their worst crash since the 2008 global financial crisis and pushing the week’s wipeout in value terms to $5 trillion.
The rout showed no signs of slowing as Europe’s main markets slumped 3-5 per cent and the ongoing dive for safety sent yields on US government bonds, seen as probably the securest asset in the world, to fresh record lows.
Hopes that the epidemic that started in China would be over in months and that economic activity would quickly return to normal have been shattered this week as the number of international cases spiralled.
Bets are now that the Federal Reserve will cut US interest rates as soon as next month and other major central banks will follow to try and nurse economies through the troubles and stave off a global recession.
“Investors are trying to price in the worst case scenario and the biggest risk is what happens now in the United States and other major countries outside of Asia,” said SEI Investments Head of Asian Equities John Lau. – Reuters