Stock market losses trigger another circuit-breaker, trading temporarily halted

Andrew Cummings
March 19, 2020

The flow into the United States dollar shows that investors do not want to be in assets other than the dollar and are keeping their assets in cash.

This included a trillion-dollar stimulus package which sought to give the market a well-needed boost.

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The Nasdaq Composite closed almost 345 points lower.

The sharp moves laid the groundwork for another choppy day of trading in the U.S.

Concerns about the global economy also appeared to drive the stock market lower, with the International Labor Organization warning that almost 25 million jobs could be lost worldwide unless governments take fast, coordinated action. "This volatility is undermining confidence more as each day goes by".

Gold prices slid $19.00 to $1,506.80 ounce. "There are fears of an economic collapse because of what this virus represents, globally".

Petroleum-linked shares suffered an especially brutal round as USA oil prices plunged 24 per cent to US$20.37 a barrel, its lowest price since 2002 on a demand outlook that worsens by the day.

Markets have been severely affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

All the uncertainty has pushed many people toward safety.

Yields on bonds issued by Southern European nations widened as investors shunned the continent's riskier debt amid increased fiscal spending plans to counter the coronavirus outbreak.

Markets had priced in weaker demand since early this year, but the sell-off has far exceeded initial expectations. The base metal dropped 5.7% on the London Metal Exchange, falling below $5,000 a metric ton for the first time since late 2016.

Johnson was already in the business when the US stock market crashed in 1987 on Black Monday.

Benchmark U.S. oil lost $6.58, or 24.4%, to settle at $20.37 a barrel.

That followed the US Federal Reserve making another emergency rate cut on Sunday, prompting central banks around the world to ease policy in the biggest coordinated response since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago. "But people are having margin calls", said Alex Au, managing director at Alphalex Capital Management, a hedge fund based in Hong Kong.

With all the uncertainty and early evidence that China's economy was hit much harder by the virus than earlier thought, they now see "a severe global recession occurring in the first half of 2020".

The best-case scenario for many investors is that the economic shock will be steep but short, with growth recovering later this year after businesses reopen.

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