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AFP
September 22, 2020

World stocks tank on fears of second coronavirus wave

Business

AFP
September 22, 2020

London: World equity markets tanked on Monday, losing around three percent as investors fretted over mounting fears of a second wave of coronavirus and a lack of fresh central bank stimulus, dealers said.

The banking sector was also rocked by the findings of an international journalism investigation that claimed massive sums of allegedly dirty money have flowed for years through some of the world´s largest banking institutions.

London stocks dived by 3.0 percent after Health Minister Matt Hancock warned Britain´s coronavirus crisis was at a "tipping point", fuelling expectations of more restrictions aimed at curbing Covid-19 as government experts said cases could mushroom.

On Wall Street, the Dow also joined the selloff, sliding 2.3 percent shortly after opening bell. The broad-based S&P 500 and the tech-rich Nasdaq both gave up around two percent. Frankfurt, Paris, Milan tumbled three percent while Madrid sank by 3.5 percent after a partial virus lockdown began in the Spanish capital´s densely populated south.

The European single currency was pushed under $1.18 as dealers sought the traditional safety of the dollar, while oil prices shed almost 2.0 percent on weak energy demand concerns. "Sentiment was ice cold in the markets... as the FTSE 100 fell sharply below the 6,000 (points) mark," remarked investment director Russ Mould at online broker AJ Bell.

"The move followed mixed trading in Asia and matched similar-sized drops on other European exchanges as investors weigh concerns around a new wave of coronavirus infections and fears that central banks are not immediately coming to the rescue with a fresh round of stimulus."