Global markets continued the sell down of risk assets as more countries introduced increasingly stringent measures to combat the Covid-19 outbreak. UK seniors were told to self-isolate, the European Union and Malaysia closed their borders and the US President suggested home schooling as authorities struggled to slow the spread of the virus. Stocks plummeted. European markets recovered from 10% falls to finish down 5%, but US indices had their worst one-day fall since 1987. 

Crude oil dropped 9% to 12% as analysts pushed back the timeframe for economic recovery. Copper and Nickel fell again. The pressure on growth exposed assets was expected, but the selling of gold and European bonds suggests sentiment continues to sour as investors shun “safe havens” and turn to cash.

Currency markets were relatively calm. The US dollar had a mixed night, and Sterling languished at lower levels. Commodity currencies remain near decade lows, and cryptocurrencies are still under pressure after gapping down.

Futures markets indicate another rough day’s trade for Asia Pacific investors. The Nikkei is tipped to shed around 500 points at the open, and the Hang Seng 450. Australia 200 futures fell 200+ points overnight, suggesting a new low point today for the current sell down.