STOCKS SUFFER MORE LOSSES
EMERGING markets (EM) stocks racked up more losses yesterday as central banks and governments struggled to calm fears of a deep global recession as the coronavirus shut down more economies.
On the JSE, the blue chip Top40 index fell 1.37 percent to 34 239.3 points, while the all share index lost 1.66 percent to 37 963.01 points.
The rand also softened. At 5pm, the currency bid at R17.39 to the dollar, 34 cents weaker than at the same time on Wednesday.
Investors dumping financial assets in favour of hard cash have left all of the world’s big market places looking for a floor.
MSCI’s index of emerging market stocks gave up nearly 3 percent to touch their lowest since March 2016, following another rout on Wall Street on Wednesday.
The EM index has so far lost almost 14 percent this week placing it on course for its worst week since 2008.
Philippine stocks crashed 13.3 percent in their worst day on record, following a two-day halt and most Asian stocks were deep in the red.
There were some signs of stability in Europe and Africa, spurred by early gains for battered western European markets, but analysts were sceptical it would hold.
Moscow-listed stocks jumped 4 percent, recovering from two-year lows, while equity indices in Hungary and Warsaw rose between 0.6 percent and 3.3 percent.
With investors only interested in holding dollars, currencies of most developing world economies weakened.
“The coronavirus pandemic has halted global growth and travel, and with it the demand for energy commodities,” said UBS Global Wealth Management analyst Michael Bolliger.
“Compounding this is the potentially huge oversupply in the oil market following the breakup of the Opec+ deal. All this has created a toxic cocktail for the oil price and the EM currencies linked to it.”
Oil prices did gain back ground overnight. I Reuters some