Thursday, 29 October 2020

Markets fall, France and Germany back in lockdown, US faces “whole lot of pain”

Markets fell on Wednesday.

The S&P 500 plunged 3.5 percent, the STOXX Europe 600 tumbled 3.0 percent and the Nikkei 225 fell 0.3 percent.

Markets fell as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to surge globally and France and Germany announced that they were going back into lockdown.

“The virus is circulating at a speed that not even the most pessimistic forecasts had anticipated,” said French President Emmanuel Macron. “I have decided that we need to return to the lockdown which stopped the virus.”

“We need to take action now,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel as she ordered bars, restaurants and theatres to be shut from 2-30 November.

In contrast, US President Donald Trump appears to be in denial over the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US.

“We are turning the corner. We are rounding the curve, we will vanquish the virus,” Trump said at an election campaign rally in West Salem, Wisconsin.

However, Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appears to disagree, telling CNBC in an interview on Wednesday that the US is “going in the wrong direction”.

“If things do not change, if they continue on the course we’re on, there’s gonna be a whole lot of pain in this country with regard to additional cases and hospitalizations, and deaths,” said Fauci.

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