The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by the most points in history overnight. The 4.5% drop in major US indices followed a 3.5% haircut for European share markets. The economic impact of the Covid19 virus continues to dominate market thinking, and fears for the global growth outlook is driving market action. Crude oil and industrial metals fell while US and Australian bonds hit record highs.

Asia Pacific markets are facing opening losses, although the overnight falls are considerably smaller, with indications for a 1% drop in Hong Kong and Japan. Australia 200 index furture point to a 2.5% drop, which if realised will point the drop since last week’s high in official correction territory at 10%.

Currency markets remain curiously calm. Commodity currencies are trading near longer-term lows, and the safe haven Yen is edging higher, but daily trading ranges remain modest.

The Australian corporate reporting season draws to its official close today. Computer services group Next DC, rare earth miner Lynas and consumer goods group Harvey Norman have all delivered earnings broadly in line with forecasts. Unfortunately inline is unlikely to spare their shares from the global downdraft.