Wall Street trading halted after deep losses

17 Mars, 2020, 04:24 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Global Markets Stocks plunge dollar slides as Fed's emergency cut spooks investors

The S&P 500 has plunged more than ten percent while he Dow crashed over nine percent due to a wave of panic selling.

Even traditional safe havens cratered as fearful investors decided cash is king.

On a more global scale, the Fed in concert with five other central banks reduced the pricing on dollar swap lines to ensure that there is a sufficient amount of USA dollars - the global reserve currency - to ensure that the markets for borrowing and lending greenbacks overseas do not become overly strained.

Stocks dropped 8% in the first minutes of trading Monday on Wall Street and triggered another temporary halt to trading as huge swaths of the economy come closer to shutting down, from airlines to restaurants.

The coronavirus outbreak has produced the most profound shock to the financial system since the crash almost 12 years ago. Other travel companies have also seen sharp drops in demand from customers. It took similar steps, known as quantitative easing, during the financial crisis.

"There is a pyramid of uncertainty", said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist for Prudential Financial. "We're not thinking in terms of recession".

The Fed also slashed reserve requirements for thousands of U.S. banks and eased conditions for banks at the discount window - again with the aim of helping financial institutions more easily meet the demand for credit from households and businesses straining under virus disruptions.

The U.S. Senate is under pressure to pass stimulus spending after the House of Representatives last week approved a multibillion-dollar bill.

Kevin Hassett, a former economic adviser to President Donald Trump, said on CNN that "that the odds of a global recession are close to 100% right now" and predicted the USA could lose about 1 million jobs in April.

That has economists slashing their expectations for upcoming months, and Wells Fargo Securities said Monday it now projects the U.S. economy will fall into a recession in the April-through-June quarter.

Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals postponed
The Pro14 and France's Top 14 leagues were suspended indefinitely last week, with four global matches in the 2020 Six Nations Championship postponed because of the spread of COVID-19.

S. Korea reports 74 new coronavirus infections
Other major provinces and cities have also reported some infections, with Gyeonggi Province reporting 20 additional cases. South Korean soldiers disinfect Daegu after a second cluster of cases linked to a religious group emerged.

349 new Covid-19 deaths take Italy total to over 2000
Italy's proportion of fatalities to confirmed cases of the new coronavirus infection is now higher than that of China. More than 24,700 people in the country have been diagnosed with the disease and more than 1,800 people have died.

Finance ministers in the euro zone said the bloc so far has deployed a fiscal boost worth 1% of its gross domestic product to help the economy withstand the pandemic and pledged to do more if needed.

Rate-sensitive financial stocks tumbled 11.1%, leading declines among the major S&P sectors. Heavyweights Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp and Facebook Inc were among the biggest drags on the S&P 500. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 closed down 4.9pc. Multiple governments, including those of Italy, Spain and France, have initiated countrywide shutdowns in an effort to cease the spread of the coronavirus. The S&P index recorded no new 52-week highs and 325 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded three new highs and 1,238 new lows.

Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2,371 points, or 10.2%, to 20,814, and the Nasdaq was down 9.3%. The S&P 500 dropped 12%, marking its worst day since December 2018, while the Nasdaq Composite also faced its worst day ever as it fell 12.3%.

Nearly nothing was left unscathed.

Energy stocks tracked a near 10% slump in oil prices, while technology stocks lost 9.2%.

The price of global benchmark Brent crude tanked more than 12 percent on Monday, falling below $30 a barrel, while U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude fell 9.64 percent to $28.67 a barrel.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes last rose 66/32 in price to yield 0.745%.

The Fed's second emergency rate cut in less than two weeks came late Sunday, just two days ahead of its scheduled policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A pedestrian passes a almost empty Fulton Center station as businesses are closed due to coronavirus concerns, in New York, March 16, 2020. South Korea and Kuwait both lowered rates, while Russian Federation and Germany were throwing together multi-billion dollar anti-crisis funds.

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