Fears of COVID-19 “Second Wave” Spark Global Stock Sell-Off

US futures and European stocks have been heavily impacted by a surge in global coronavirus cases, driving prices lower on Monday.

Early trading on Monday saw mass stock sell-offs around the world, with investors’ appetite for risk newly dampened by a resurgence in confirmed COVID-19 cases. Markets in Europe, Asia and the US each saw broad losses.

In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 opened down 2.1%, while Frankfurt’s DAX and Paris’s CAC 40 shed 2.8% and 2.4% respectively.

US futures painted an equally gloomy picture, which was largely confirmed as trading opened. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 2.4%, S&P 500 futures by 1.9%, and Nasdaq by 1.4% on Monday morning.

Overnight losses were also seen throughout Asia, with Japan’s Nikkei losing 3.4% and the Hong Kong Hang Seng falling by 2.1%. China’s markets saw comparatively slight losses; the Shanghai Composite fell by 1% and the Shenzen Component by 0.5%.

Analysts suggested that the market pull-back may be linked to a spike in cases in Beijing, which saw localised quarantine measures introduced as a response.

In a statement on the markets on Sunday, Ed Yardeni, president and chief investment strategist at Yardeni Research, commented: “Now that reopening is happening, there’s fear of suboptimal results: less social distancing triggering a second wave of the virus, followed by another round of lockdowns.

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