Saturday, 28 March 2020

Markets fall, US COVID-19 cases pass 100,000

Markets were mostly lower on Friday.

The S&P 500 tumbled 3.4 percent and the STOXX Europe 600 fell 3.3 percent. However, the Nikkei 225 jumped 3.9 percent.

“Economic data is deteriorating quickly, and we still have few signs on just how severe the economic impact will be,” said Lindsey Bell, chief investment strategist at Ally Invest.

“The bottom line is that the recovery from this crisis will be a lot slower than consensus expects,” said Andrea Cicione, head of strategy at TS Lombard.

Oil prices plunged. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 4.8 percent and Brent fell 5.4 percent.

“According to industry reports, oil storage levels globally have already reached 75% of capacity, and continued stockpiling under closed demand would crash the prices to $10 in the coming months unless industrial activity restarts,” said Mihir Kapadia, chief executive offer of Sun Global Investments.

Global economic activity could take some time to pick up again, though, with COVID-19 cases still rising in many countries. In the US, the number of confirmed cases passed 100,000 on Friday while Italy recorded 919 deaths from the virus, the highest daily toll in the world, as its total of confirmed cases rose by 5,959 to 86,498, surpassing China's.

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