Stocks tumble again as Fed rate cut fails to offer comfort

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 16, 2020 - Duration: 01:58s

Stocks tumble again as Fed rate cut fails to offer comfort

Global stocks tumbled again on Monday despite concerted efforts by central banks to reassure markets.

Julian Satterthwaite reports.


Stocks tumble again as Fed rate cut fails to offer comfort

Global central banks pulled out all the stops over the weekend, in a bid to calm panic on markets.

The U.S. Federal Reserve got the ball rolling with a rate cut, with banks in New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and Australia all then acting.

It hasn't worked.

After Asian markets saw declines of 3-4% Monday (March 16), the picture in Europe looked even grimmer.

Benchmark indexes there all fell 6% or more in the first hour of trade.

The regional Stoxx 600 was off as much as 8%, touching lows not seen since 2012.

It's now lost more than a third of its value from February's peak.

Travel-related shares again took the brunt of the selling.

British Airways-owner IAG dropped as much as 20%.

Holiday operator TUI was down 30%.

But as fears of a virus-driven global recession rise, no sector looks immune.

Banks including Barclays and Societe Generale fell as much as 15%.

Analysts like Baader Bank's Robert Haalver want more action from governments: (SOUNDBITE) (German) HEAD OF CAPITAL MARKET ANALYSIS AT BAADER BANK, ROBERT HALVER, SAYING: "What's important in Europe now is for the demand side to get support.

We need income security now.

Just think of the many freelancers who are worried that they will no longer have an income.

They are already making savings, deepening the crisis." The concern over an economic slowdown also meant a fresh drop for oil prices.

International benchmark Brent crude was off close to 8% in early European trade, putting oil shares under fresh pressure.

The slide in equity prices sparked predictable gains for perceived safe havens.

Gold, the Japanese yen and U.S. government bonds all saw gains.

But the trouble for investors is that no one knows how long this crisis will last - one month, many months, or longer.

The relentless slide in stock prices suggest many are assuming the worst.

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