World stocks plunge into bear market, oil slumps

Trump’s travel curbs rattle markets; ECB move fails to cheer

Global stocks plunged into a bear market and oil slumped further on Thursday after stimulus efforts from the European Central Bank failed to calm investors alarmed by U.S. moves overnight to restrict travel from Europe over the spread of COVID-19.

Trading was halted for 15 minutes shortly after the open in New York after the S&P 500 index fell more than 7%. It was recently trading down 8.20%.

U.S. President Donald Trump restricted certain travel from Europe to the United States in a televised address about the health crisis on Wednesday, shocking investors and travellers, and disappointing traders hoping to see broader measures to fight the virus. The European Central Bank approved fresh stimulus measures and temporarily dropped banks’ capital requirements to help the Euro zone cope with the shock of the pandemic, but kept interest rates on hold, disappointing markets.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1,905.67 points, or 8.09%, to 21,647.55, the S&P 500 lost 224.83 points, or 8.20%, to 2,516.55 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 490.83 points, or 6.17%, to 7,461.22. The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 9.89% and emerging market stocks lost 6.63%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 5.78% lower, while Japan’s Nikkei lost 4.41%.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 7.40%, down more than 20% from its 52-week peak.

Oil prices were also hit, compounded by an intensifying price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, on top of fears of a sharp slowdown in the global economy.

U.S. crude fell 5.28% to $31.24 per barrel and Brent was at $33.48, down 6.45% on the day. Spot gold dropped 3.2% to $1,582.31 an ounce.

Source: Read Full Article