Stocks plunge, havens jump on mounting coronavirus fears

  • 02/24/2020
  • Source: Bloomberg News
  • by: Vildana Hajric and Todd White, Bloomberg News
Stocks plunge, havens jump on mounting coronavirus fears
U.S. equities tumbled alongside stocks in Europe and Asia as authorities struggled to keep the coronavirus from spreading more widely outside China. Havens including Treasuries and gold jumped.
In a dramatic day across markets, these were some of the standout moves:
  • The three main U.S. stock benchmarks all opened more than three per cent lower, with the S&P 500 Index registering its biggest drop since August. The Dow Jones Industrial Average erased its gains for the year.
  • The FANG cohort of megacap tech shares that led the year’s rally plunged more than four per cent, with Apple Inc. recently off 3.7 per cent and Alphabet Inc. down 3.6 perr cent. AMD Corp. led losses in chipmakers exposed to China, sinking more than eight per cent. High-flyers Virgin Galactic and Tesla each fell about five per cent. Alpha Pro Tech, maker of protective clothing and masks, surged 11 per cent.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid as much as 4.2 per cent on twice its average volume, heading for the largest drop since 2016, as investors fled travel and luxury-goods shares. A gauge of credit risk on the region’s high-yield companies jumped.
  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries sank to its lowest since 2016.
  • South Korea’s benchmark dropped 3.9 per cent, leading declines across Asia, though Japan’s markets were shut for a holiday.
  • Spot gold approached US$1,700, while Brent crude oil tumbled almost four per cent.
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