In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 finished 2.2% higher amid a choppy session, having gained 3% at the opening bell and then fallen into the red. Travel and leisure stocks fell 6%, off earlier lows, as shutdowns continue to hammer the sector. Volkswagen announced Tuesday that it will suspend production from Friday, warning alongside its full-year results that 2020 would be a difficult year. The German automaker’s shares reversed course to gain 1.7% during afternoon trade.
In Currency Markets sterling fell to its lowest level against the dollar since early September on Tuesday, as investors hoovered up the U.S. currency and after Britain toughened its approach to containing the coronavirus outbreak. The pound fell as much as 2% to $1.2029 on Tuesday before recovering slightly. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday tightened restrictions and placed curbs on social life in Britain. Analysts expect the Bank of England (BoE) to take further action to limit the economic fallout at its next meeting on March 26.
In Commodities Markets Brent crude fell below $30 a barrel on Tuesday to its lowest since 2016, as the coronavirus pandemic hits economic growth and oil demand while Saudi Arabia and Russia keep up their battle for market share. Brent crude futures fell 22 cents, or 0.7%, to $29.85 a barrel. The U.S. crude benchmark, however, diverged from Brent and was modestly higher. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 5 cents to $28.75 a barrel. It has slumped more than 50% since Jan. 2.
In US Equity Markets indices fell slightly on Tuesday, a day after recording their biggest tumble since the crash of 1987, as efforts to contain the rapidly spreading coronavirus wreak havoc on the global economy. The S&P 500 was up 0.08%, at 2,387.98. The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.64%, at 6,860.48. Boeing Co fell 9.8% after the planemaker said it was in talks with senior White House officials and congressional leaders about short-term assistance for the entire U.S. aviation sector.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields headed higher on Tuesday as Wall Street recorded gains after devastating losses and the Federal Reserve rode to the rescue of the stressed commercial paper market. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield rose to 0.835%, up from 0.728% at Monday’s close as risk appetite improved, reducing demand for safe-haven debt. Investors are hoping that the Fed’s moves will ease credit issues for companies.