US, Asian stocks plunge despite stimulus measures
NEW YORK : US stocks deepened their sell-off on Wednesday and the Dow effectively erased the last of its gains since US President Donald Trump's 2017 inauguration.
Asian markets also plunged, with the Philippines bourse shedding as much as 25 per cent.
In the US, the benchmark S&P 500 index ended off of its lows of the session but still down 5.2 per cent, extending the recent plunge that ended Wall Street's longest-ever bull run.
The S&P 500 is now down about 29 per cent from its Feb 19 record closing high.
"The market's really reacting to fear and uncertainty and we don't think it's over until it finds a floor on stock prices," said investment strategist at Edward Jones, Ms Nela Richardson.
"The floor will have to be found in containment of the viral spread and limiting the economic toll of the virus."
President Trump's request for Congress to approve US$500 billion (S$727 billion) in cash payments to taxpayers along with US$50 billion in loans for airlines did little to stem the rout.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1,338.46 points, or 6.3 per cent, to 19,898.92, the S&P 500 lost 131.09 points, or 5.18 per cent, to 2,398.1 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 344.94 points, or 4.7 per cent to 6,989.84.
The selling at one point triggered another 15-minute trading cutout at a 7 per cent decline in yet another day of volatile trading.
Asian equities sank again yesterday as a European Central Bank plan to spend more than US$800 billion to buy bonds failed to instil optimism in traders.
The Philippines stock market clocked its biggest one-day loss in history yesterday, after trading resumed following a two-day hiatus.
The Phillipines stock exchange fell more than 13 per cent, hitting its lowest in more than eight years, even as it recouped some losses after diving as much as 24.3 per cent.
The Indonesian index dropped as much as 5.2 per cent - triggering its fourth circuit breaker in six sessions.
Singapore equities lost 4.7 per cent to end lower for a seventh straight session while Malaysian shares eased 1.6 per cent. - REUTERS, AFP