Markets in the UK, USA, China and Japan have slumped to their worst performance since 2008 with billions of pounds lost and major corporations warning of profit fears and production delays this week.
The US Dow Jones has been especially hard hit, with a 1200 points loss making for the worst trading day in its entire history. The UK’s FTSE-100 has also opened 3% down, the Kospi index in South Korea is down 3.3% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 index has seen 3.7% wiped off its value.
A host of organisations have also lost out, with British Airways owner IAG losing 8% on its share value as it says it will cut flights to European destinations. According to a Bloomberg report, “Downgrades to the global outlook keep rolling in and money markets now see three Federal Reserve interest-rate cuts this year. Bank of America predicted that the global economy will see its weakest year since the financial crisis as the virus damages demand in China and beyond.”
In Europe, the bloc’s largest economy could see its growth stunted, with Jens Weidmann, the president of Germany’s Bundesbank saying, “Economic growth in Germany this year could be somewhat lower than our experts predicted in December.”
The worrying thing for markets globally is that the coronavirus is now reaching pandemic proportions, with reports in the US confirming that a person who hasn’t travelled nor been in contact with anyone infected has the virus and the number of new cases outside of China superseding those within for the first time. This sense of uncertainty means risk aversion is high – putting safe haven assets like gold in the driver’s seat. Now is the time to buy.