There was the ominous sense of living through history this Monday, traders experiencing a session that may well become synonymous with the cost of the coronavirus crisis. That is, as long as there isn’t anything worse on its way…
The Dow Jones, which has already shown its willingness to move in the last month, looked to surpass its record for a single session points plunge – a record, remember, that was set just one week ago.
Shedding 1,600 points the US index got cut down as soon as it joined its European comrades on the bloody market battlefield, only adding to the gore as the bell rang on Wall Street. With Chevron falling 14%, and ExxonMobil losing 10%, the Dow found itself at its worst price since the start of 2019, echoing the lows suffered in the Eurozone.
In terms of a percentage decline, the Dow outperformed its peers, dropping 5.9% compared to the fairly uniform 7%-plus slides suffered by the FTSE, DAX and CAC. That’s likely because the dollar also got absolutely hammered, shedding 1% against the pound and euro while losing 2.7% to the Japanese yen.
It is a sign of just how bad the session has been that a 7.3% fall for the FTSE is something of a win compared to where it was at the open. The marginal cooling of losses from Brent Crude, BP and Shell – all of which are still down 16% to 19% – allowed the UK index to come off its 5900 lows, sneaking the smallest slither of its nose back across 6000.
Can this level of blood loss be sustained across the rest of the week? The fears of a recession are so high – investors are effectively assuming it’s a given at this point – that the market’s carcass is mighty unappealing at the moment. And it is hard to see any solace coming in the form of the consistently concerning coronavirus headlines.