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Stock markets recover after turbulent trading in Asia

Friday the 13th brought wild swings for some markets as governments stepped up precautions against the spread of the new coronavirus.

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Japan’s Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo Friday, March 13, 2020. Shares have plunged in Asia, with Japan’s benchmark sinking 10% after Wall Street suffered its biggest drop since the Black Monday crash of 1987. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo Friday, March 13, 2020. Shares have plunged in Asia, with Japan’s benchmark sinking 10% after Wall Street suffered its biggest drop since the Black Monday crash of 1987. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo Friday, March 13, 2020. Shares have plunged in Asia, with Japan’s benchmark sinking 10% after Wall Street suffered its biggest drop since the Black Monday crash of 1987. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

European stocks rose on Friday following turbulent trading in Asia, the day after the market’s worst session in more than three decades.

Shares rose in Paris and London but fell 6.1% in Japan following Wall Street’s and Europe’s biggest drop since the 1987 Black Monday crash.

HEALTH Coronavirus Markets
(PA Graphics)


Stocks also opened sharply higher on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 800 points, or 4% early on Friday.

More central banks, including those of China, Sweden and Norway, intervened to flood credit markets with liquidity, a day after similar interventions from the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank.

Benchmarks in Japan, Thailand and India sank as much as 10% early in the day, but India’s Sensex gained 3.3% in afternoon trading. In Bangkok, the Thailand SET fell 1.3% after its 10% plunge triggered a temporary suspension of trading.

Markets worldwide have been on the retreat as worries over the economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis deepen and the meltdown in the US, the world’s biggest economy, batters confidence around the globe.

Gains in Europe were the latest chapter in a period of remarkable volatility for financial markets, with major indexes plunging into bear market territory at record pace.

In France, the Cac 40 was up 5.1% to 4,250 while Germany’s Dax climbed 4.2% to 9,545. Britain’s FTSE picked up 4.9% to 5,493.

An Indian broker watches the Bombay Stock Exchange
An Indian broker watches the Bombay Stock Exchange (Rajanish Kakade/AP)

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 4.4% to 5,539.30 after state and territorial leaders agreed to raise spending to counter the impact of the viral outbreak that has spread from central China across the globe, infecting 128,000 people.

Losses narrowed in mainland China, where communities are recovering from the worst of the virus. The Shanghai Composite index fell 1.2% to 2,887.43. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.1%, to 24,032.91.

The overnight sell-off on Wall Street helped to wipe out most of the big US gains since President Donald Trump took office in 2017.

The S&P 500 plummeted 9.5%, for a total drop of 26.7% from its all-time high, set last month. That puts it way over the 20% threshold for a bear market, officially ending Wall Street’s unprecedented bull-market run of nearly 11 years.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 2,352 points, or 10%, its heaviest loss since its nearly 23% drop on Oct. 19, 1987.

European markets fell 12% in one of their worst days ever, even after the European Central Bank pledged to buy more bonds and offer more help for the economy.

PA