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- Stocks, oil, Treasury yields, and bitcoin jumped on Tuesday but pared their gains as coronavirus fears outweighed more aggressive government actions to fight the pandemic.
- EU officials moved to ban all non-essential travel into the bloc for at least 30 days, while French President Emmanuel Macron declared “we are at war” and directed people to remain home as much as possible.
- “One does not need to accurately model just how damaging that will be economically,” one analyst said.
- “Financial markets have been off the rails,” another analyst said.
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Stocks, oil, Treasury yields, and bitcoin rallied on Tuesday but pared some of their gains as investors remained unconvinced by more aggressive government actions to combat coronavirus. The stunted recovery followed the biggest sell-off on Wall Street in more than 30 years on Monday.
The European Union moved to ban all non-essential travel into the bloc for at least 30 days. French President Emmanuel Macron proclaimed “we are at war” and ordered citizens to stay in their homes for the next 15 days and only leave when necessary.
“One does not need to accurately model just how damaging that will be economically,” Michal Every, senior Asia-Pacific strategist at RaboResearch, said in a research note.
The British government also ramped up its countermeasures on Monday evening. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump warned the coronavirus crisis could continue into August or beyond, and acknowledged there “may be” a US recession.
Coronavirus — which causes a flu-like disease called COVID-19 — has infected more than 182,000 people, killed over 7,000, and spread to upwards of 145 countries. The pandemic has disrupted international supply chains, forced businesses to slow down or shut, and hammered consumer spending, fanning fears of a global recession this year.
Analysts warned any recovery in asset prices could prove short-lived as the economic fallout becomes clear.
“Gains we see across the board remain very fragile as stocks are running on fumes after a month of hefty collapse,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank, said in a morning note. “And there is more to worry about, as we start seeing the impact of coronavirus outbreak via tangible economic data.”
Other commentators pointed to central banks cutting rates and pumping cash into their financial systems, and governments starting to ramp up spending, as reasons for optimism.
“All we need now is for the virus to peak and all the ingredients for an epic market rally are in place,” Neil Wilson, chief market analyst for Markets.com, said in a morning note. “Until then, epic volatility remains our companion.”
“Financial markets have been off the rails,” Naeem Aslam, senior market analyst at AvaTrade, said in a morning note.
Here’s the market roundup as of 10:40 a.m. in London (6:40 a.m. in New York):
- European equities reversed early gains. Germany’s DAX fell 1.2%, Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 1.2%, and the Euro Stoxx 50 was flat.
- Asian indexes were mixed. China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.3% and South Korea’s KOSPI slid 2.5%. Japan’s Nikkei inched up 0.1%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.9%.
- US equities are set to open slightly higher. Hours after hitting their upper limit, futures underlying the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were up about 1%, and Nasdaq futures were up 1.5%.
- Oil prices pared earlier gains, with West Texas Intermediate up 1.4% at $29.40 a barrel and Brent crude down 0.4% at $29.90.
- The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield rose to about 0.82%.
- Gold slid 0.9% to $1,474.
- Bitcoin jumped 9% to around $5,300.