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Global stock markets post biggest falls since 2008 financial crisis
Published on: 2020-03-10
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021Global markets are plunging after the implosion of an alliance between OPEC and Russia caused the worst one-day crash in crude prices in nearly 30 years, fueling panic triggered by the escalation of the coronavirus epidemic.

012The S&P 500 (SPX) fell about 6%. The Dow (INDU) fell as many as 2,046 points. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) was down 5.4%. The New York Stock Exchange halted trading for 15 minutes after stocks plunged more than 7%. They retraced some of their losses after the market reopened.

The sell-off carried over into Asia Pacific, where Australia's S&P/ASX 200 ended 7.3% lower on Monday, the index's biggest plunge since October 2008. Japan's Nikkei 225 (N225) sank 5.1% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng (HSI) lost 4.2%, while China's Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) shed 3%.

013The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, meanwhile, fell below 0.5%, hitting record lows. The panic began after Saudi Arabia shocked oil markets by launching a price war. The kingdom is trying to retake global market share after Russia refused Friday to go along with OPEC's efforts to rescue the oil market from a plunge in demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Making matters worse, the novel coronavirus continues to weigh heavily on investors as it deals an unexpected shock to the economy. The virus has infected more than 108,000 people and is throwing many countries into turmoil. Italy placed nearly 16 million people under semi-lockdown and the number of confirmed cases in Europe continues to rise.

011European stocks plummeted in the opening minutes of trade. The FTSE 100 (UKX) has plunged 8.5%, putting the index on track for its worst day since the global financial crisis in October 2008. Germany's DAX (DAX) is down 7.4% and Italy's benchmark index fell 7.1%. Shares in BP (BP) crashed 20%.

US oil prices have nosedived 23% and were last trading at $31.84 a barrel, while the global benchmark Brent crude was down nearly 21%, trading at $35.88 a barrel. Both oil contracts are on track for their worst day since 1991, according to Refinitiv.

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