Circuit breakers for US stock markets tripped just minutes into trading overnight. Despite the trading halt, sellers re-appeared towards the end of the session to produce the biggest one day fall in US stocks since the GFC, following a rout on European exchanges. Crude oil tumbled further and base metals fell as investors considered the prospect of a global recession.

The investor flight to safety targeted bonds. German and US ten-year bonds hit all-time low yields at -0.86% and 0.54% respectively. Gold pulled back from highs above US $1,700 but remains elevated. The Japanese yen strengthened again, touching levels close to 101 against the US dollar. The Euro also gained against the dollar, defying expectations of further monetary support from the European Central Bank on Thursday night.

Cryptocurrencies disappointed, disproving the idea that the alternative currencies may act as havens when other asset classes are under pressure. CMC’s All Crypto Index fell through 3,000 to trade within a whisker of 2,500, well down on the 4,370 high under a month ago.

Asia Pacific markets are facing another damaging session despite yesterday’s swingeing losses. Nikkei futures are down 3%, and Australia 200 futures fell another 5% overnight. China inflation data and Australian business surveys are unlikely to change the course of trading today.