NEW YORK: Stocks across the world hit their lowest in seven weeks and other risk assets sold off on Monday on lingering concern over renewed lockdown measures in Europe and the UK, as well as the United States’ inability to agree on a stimulus for millions of unemployed.
Oil prices fell about 5 per cent, the dollar rallied and an index of emerging market currencies fell by the most in six months. The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 49 countries, touched its lowest level since August 3.
Britain is considering a second national lockdown as new cases rise by at least 6,000 per day while Denmark, Greece and Spain have introduced new restrictions on activity. Germany’s health minister said rising new infections in countries like France, Austria and the Netherlands are worrying.
Adding to the market’s nervousness, the US presidential campaign was upended late Friday after US Supreme Court Justice and liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. President Donald Trump said he would announce his candidate to replace her by the end of this week.
Ginsburg’s death also decreases the chances of Congress passing another stimulus package to help lift the domestic economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 791.58 points, or 2.86pc, to 26,865.84, the S&P 500 lost 72.43 points, or 2.18pc, to 3,247.04 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 147.46 points, or 1.37pc, to 10,645.83.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 3.24pc and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 2.29pc.
US crude recently fell 4.74pc to $39.16 per barrel and Brent was at $41.42, down 4.01pc on the day.
Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 9/32 in price to yield 0.6658pc, from 0.694pc late on Friday. Spot gold dropped 2.4pc to $1,902.46 an ounce.
Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2020