Coronavirus: Global markets sink after Trump promises economic aid for COVID-19

Click to play video: 'White House eyes $850 billion stimulus package' White House eyes $850 billion stimulus package
WATCH: White House eyes $850 billion stimulus package – Mar 17, 2020

Global stock markets sank Wednesday in a third day of wild price swings after U.S. President Donald Trump promised aid to get the U.S. economy through the coronavirus outbreak.

London and Frankfurt opened more than 3 per cent lower and Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong all declined. Australia’s main index fell 6.4 per cent.

The White House proposal could approach $1 trillion in spending to ward off the pressure of business closures to contain the virus. The Federal Reserve has announced more measures to keep financial markets operating.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Global shares rebound after Wall Street dive, recession warning

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Trump wants to send checks to Americans in the next two weeks to help support them while more parts of the economy come closer to shutting down.

Story continues below advertisement

On Wall Street, the future for the benchmark S&P 500 index was down 3.7 per cent. The future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 3.9 per cent.

On Tuesday, the S&P rose by an unusually wide daily margin of 6 per cent, regaining just under half the previous day’s history-making loss. The Dow advanced 5.2 per cent.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau says Canada still in strong position as global markets tumble' Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau says Canada still in strong position as global markets tumble
Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau says Canada still in strong position as global markets tumble – Mar 16, 2020

Investors expect more volatility until the virus is brought under control. Trump’s proposal would include $250 billion for small businesses and $50 billion for airlines.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

That is a good start but investors need to see the number of infections slow before markets can find a bottom, analysts said. The number of new cases reported in China, where the virus emerged in December, is declining but infections in the United States, Europe and elsewhere are increasing.

Story continues below advertisement

There are “green shoots of risk appetite emerging, and some further concerning aspects,” said Chris Weston of Pepperstone Group in a report. “I am not going to call a bottom in the risk story by any means.”

READ MORE: Trump shifts tone as U.S. struggles to contain coronavirus outbreak


The FTSE 100 in London dropped 4.3 per cent to 5,066.96 and Frankfurt’s DAX skidded 3.7 per cent to 8,606.79. France’s CAC 40 shed 3.4 per cent to 3,873.71.

On Tuesday, European markets swung from gains to losses and back to gains.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.8 per cent to 2,728.76 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo shed 1.7 per cent to 16,726.55. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng skidded 4.2 per cent to 22,291.82.

Click to play video: 'The financial impact of COVID-19' The financial impact of COVID-19
The financial impact of COVID-19 – Mar 17, 2020

The Kospi in Seoul slumped 4.9 per cent to 1,693.95. Australia’s S&P-ASX 200 plunged to 5,320.20.

Story continues below advertisement

New Zealand and Singapore rose 1 per cent while Manila fell 7.9 per cent. Bangkok surged 2.8 per cent.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, and those with mild illness recover in about two weeks. Severe illness including pneumonia can occur, especially in the elderly and people with existing health problems, and recovery could take six weeks in such cases.

On Monday, the Dow lost nearly 3,000 points after Trump said a recession may be on the way. The S&P is off 25.3 per cent from last month’s record.

The virus has spread so quickly that its effects haven’t shown up in much U.S. economic data yet.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — TSX, Wall Street stage small rebound as markets open

On Tuesday, a report showed retail sales weakened in February, when economists expected a gain. A separate report a day earlier showed manufacturing in the state of New York contracting.

“The global recession is here and now,” S&P Global economists wrote in a report Tuesday.

In energy markets, U.S. benchmark crude lost 87 cents to $26.08 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost $1.75 to $26.95 on Tuesday.

Story continues below advertisement

Brent crude, the international standard, fell 43 cents to $28.25 per barrel in London.

The dollar declined to 107.42 yen from 107.67 late Tuesday. The euro retreated to $1.0983 from $1.0996.

Sponsored content