Shares plunge amid US-Europe travel ban

Shares have tumbled after US President Donald Trump restricted travel to the US from mainland Europe in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Shares

  • US S&P500 futures slumped more than 3 percent, a day after the S&P 500 lost 4.89 percent, putting the index in a bear market, defined as a 20 percent fall from a recent top.
  • Euro Stoxx 50 futures dived more than 5 percent to their lowest levels since mid-2016.
  • MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 2 percent to its lowest level since early 2019.
  • Japan’s Nikkei 225 index lost 3.3 percent.
  • Australia’s benchmark S&P ASX 200  index dived 3.7 percent and South Korea’s Kospi fell 2.7 percent to a four-year low.

Oil Prices

Oil prices extended losses as they were also hit by renewed weakness in the stock market and as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announced plans to escalate a burgeoning price war against other producers.

  • US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude last traded up slightly at $32.14 per barrel, down 2.5 percent.

Currency

  • In the currency market, the US dollar slid against the safe-haven Japanese yen and Swiss franc.
  • The US currency fell 0.7 percent to 103.64 yen and lost 0.5 percent to 0.9333 franc.
  • The euro traded at $1.1272, flirting with its lowest level in a week, in the run-up to the European Central Bank’s policy meeting later on Thursday.

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