Daily summary: Markets plunge as coronavirus spreads worldwide

8:21 PM February 24, 2020

  • Panic-driven selling on global stock markets

  • Coronavirus spreads beyond China

  • A strong demand for safe havens


Monday brought us crucial coronavirus updates which, as it turned out, have tremendous impact on global financial markets. Over the weekend the outbreak has spread rapidly beyond China. According to WHO, there have been almost 79 thousand cases worldwide including almost 2,500 deaths. The pace of the outbreak seems especially sharp in South Korea (over 800 cases) as well as in Italy (more than 200 cases). A few Italian towns are now on lockdown as coronavirus fears have started spreading in Europe. The outlook for the Middle East does not seem promising as well as there have been 61 cases including 12 deaths in Iran. In addition to that, first cases have been reported in Iraq and Afghanistan. On the other hand, various factories in China managed to reopen today - sources indicate that the majority of steel enterprises and coal mines did return to work despite the virus crisis. 


Investors from around the world were afraid about the market opening as coronavirus fears escalated over the weekend. Asian indices were first to fall - KOSPI plunged as much as 3.87%, S&P/ASX 200 finished 2.25% lower and HSCEI dropped 2.06%. The pessimistic sentiment then spread to Europe where declines were also significant (at least 3%). The biggest panic-driven selling was seen in Italy where FTSE MIB plunged 5.43%. As a matter of fact, today’s European session was the worst one since June 2016 and rapid fall on Brexit vote. American stocks are performing slightly better than European equities but declines are still serious (roughly 3%). 


As risk assets come under pressure amid virus turmoil, safe havens tend to gain on popularity. Strong demand for gold still pushes its price higher, as a result gold is now trading at around $1,673,00 (+1.81%). The coronavirus outbreak is now certainly the main factor behind the gold surge. Silver prices are soaring as well (+1.79%). 


Although the economic calendar was rather poor today, we got to know the latest Ifo Business Climate from Germany. The reading was stronger than expected and stood at 96.1 in February 2020 (est. 95.3). The EUR/USD volatility is very little, though. The currency pair is now trading at around 1.0862 (+0.14%). 


Tomorrow investors should certainly pay attention to German GDP release (07:00 am GMT). Apart from that, the CB Consumer Confidence from the U.S. will be published. Most definitely everybody should also keep track of coronavirus updates, especially from Europe, Middle East and South Korea as these places now seem particularly endangered.

DE30 had its worst session since August 2019. The crucial resistance level now stands at 12 950 points. Source: xStation5

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