What started as a fairly calm session unravelled as the day went on, with investors once again gripped by panic about the cost of the coronavirus.
The Dow Jones – which is lurching from green-to-red on a day-by-day basis – shed 700 points as trading got started on Wall Street, plummeting back under 26400 in the process.
This ensured that the European indices spent another session struggling under the weight of the current outbreak uncertainty. The FTSE, which was already having a bad one, saw its losses expand to 125 points, forcing it below 6700. The DAX, which had started the day flat, ended up shedding 1.5%, while the CAC lost more than 100 points as it fell towards 5350.
How things pan out on Friday morning may well be dictated by just how bad things get by the US close. The Dow has really shown a willingness to MOVE in the last week and a half, posting insane triple or quadruple-digit shifts that come to inform the Asian and European sessions.
Investors appear to be caught between the brief bursts of optimism that tend to greet the various stimulus announcements we’ve seen, and the growing awareness that the coronavirus isn’t going away any time soon, and that its economic impact will hurt sectors far beyond those– like travel firms and commodity stocks – that immediately come to mind.