The major news discussed among most equity investors across the world now should be the increasing spread of Coronavirus. The pandemic state and uncertainties surrounding the killer disease pulled the world equity markets on Thursday.
The market was brought to its knees as coronavirus pandemic outweighed a $2 trillion U.S. stimulus package passed by the American Senate yesterday.
In Europe, U.K.’s FTSE index was trading 2.0% lower; France’s CAC 40 was down 1.6%, while the DAX fell 1.2%, all of them paring early losses. The broader based Stoxx 600 Europe index dropped 1.0%.
The mood was worsened by plunging consumer morale in Germany and data showing poor retail sales in Britain last month, even before the virus struck.
It followed a mixed session in Asia, where MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.7% but regional performances varied.
The Nikkei snapped three days of gains with a 4% drop, while Australia’s benchmark rose for a third day -its longest winning streak in six weeks.
Yesterday’s trading session in America saw stocks unable to sustain strong gains from the previous session as fears about the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic overshadowed optimism from sweeping fiscal and monetary stimulus to aid businesses and household
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 554.45 points, or 2.68%, at 21,259.36, the S&P 500 was up 21.59 points, or 0.88%, at 2,468.92 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.03 points, or 0.01%, at 7,418.89s.
In commodities, Oil headed lower on Thursday, still under pressure as the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) continues to slow economic growth, the latest blow to which came in the shape of India announcing a three-week lockdown earlier this week.’
As at the time of this report, the U.S. crude futures traded 3.4% plunged to $23.98 a barrel. The international benchmark Brent contract dropped 1.6% to $26.96.
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Elsewhere, gold futures fell 0.8% to $1,620.95 per ounce as investors remained on the sidelines.
In cryptocurrencies, Ethereum fell below the $135.10 level on Thursday. Ethereum was trading at 135.10 ,8.20am Nigerian local time, down 2.58% today.
It was the largest one-day percentage loss since March 22, while Bitcoin was last at $6,620.5, down 1.07% on the day. XRP was trading at $0.16089, a drop of 0.86%.