In Asian Equity Markets indices saw heavy losses in Friday after shares of Wall Street saw a historic drop overnight, as fears over the global coronavirus outbreak continued to weigh on investor sentiment. Trading in India’s Nifty 50 was halted temporarily after the index dropped 10% and triggered a circuit breaker. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was among the biggest losers among the region’s major markets as it fell 8.01%. Over in Australia, shares recovered from earlier losses and made a turnaround, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 1.01%.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar stood tall on Friday as investors scrambled for the world’s most liquid currency amid deepening panic about the coronavirus while the euro nursed losses after the European Central Bank disappointed by not cutting rates. The greenback held gains against most currencies after a blowout in swap spreads showed investors are facing a shortage of dollars as equity markets plunged on fears about the economic impact of the flu-like virus.
In Commodities Markets oil fell a third day as the horror show for crude investors continued on Friday amid panic about evaporating demand from the coronavirus pandemic, with Brent set for its biggest weekly loss since 1991 and U.S. crude heading for its worst week since 2008. Brent crude was down 47 cents, or 1.4%, at $32.75 a barrel after falling more than 7% on Thursday. For the week, Brent is set to fall nearly 28%, the biggest weekly decline since the week of Jan. 18, 1991, when it fell 29% at the outbreak of the first Gulf War.
In US Equity Markets the Dow was on course for its worst day since 1987 as President Donald Trump’s sweeping move to restrict travel from Europe added to growing signs of corporate distress in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Airline stocks tanked 14.4%, while cruise liners plummeted between 17% and 23%, as the 30-day travel suspension from Europe worsened the outlook for a sector already reeling under business travel and holiday cancellations. The S&P 500 was down 7.98%, at 2,522.73. The Nasdaq Composite fell 7.75%, at 7,335.49.
In Bond Markets longer-dated U.S. Treasury yields rose on Thursday after the New York Federal Reserve took dramatic steps to boost liquidity in the banking system, in an attempt to address liquidity concerns in the Treasury market. The 10-year note yield was last at 0.882%, up from 0.822% at Wednesday’s close. Thirty-year Treasury yields were at 1.481%, up from 1.315% at Wednesday’s close. Two-year Treasury yields were trading at 0.497%.