The stock markets tumbled down on Friday worldwide due to the worsened business disruptions after the coronavirus outbreak. Investors fear that economic slowdown prolongs indefinitely. European shares lowered sharply, with the transaction and travel stocks bearing the brunt.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell by 2.4% along with Germany’s DAX. Britain’s FTSE 100 also dropped down by 1.8%, and France’s CAC 40 slid by 2.4%. The MSCI All-Country World Index plummeted down by 0.72%.
Global stocks indexes are up 1.7% this week so far, thanks to the various stimulus from policymakers to fight the economic drawback of the virus. However, they showed their worst weekly performance since the 2008′ financial crisis.
The Fed made an emergency interest rate cut of 50 basis points this week. Australia’s Reserve Bank and the Bank of Canada also slashed rates. Investors are expecting that other major central banks will follow suit soon.
Meanwhile, the governments and companies in Italy, the United States, Britain, and France, are struggling to deal with the rise of virus infections. The outbreaks have already triggered corporate defaults, panic buying of daily necessities, and office evacuations.
Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, stated that the interplay of stimulus measures and virus containment fears means that in the near term, analysts expect market volatility to persist.
U.S. non-farm payrolls were scheduled to release later on Friday. Lots of investors were waiting for it. U.S. economic data proved good, but concerns about the epidemic overshadow the signs of a strong labor market.
What about the Asian stocks?
Asia-Pacific shares’ MSCI’s broadest index outside Japan dropped down by 2.1%. Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei stock index fell by 2.94%, with Australian shares declining by 2.44%.
Chinese futures dropped by 1.22% and stocks in Hong Kong, which was also hit hard by the virus, slid by 2.12%.