Global market in panic mode, as American dollar remains king

Investors are ignoring fiscal and monetary help around the world, as uncertainties strengthened by the rise in deaths reported from the coronavirus outbreak coupled with weakening economic outlook.

The American dollar rose on everything else on Thursday as stimulus central bank measures in Europe, Japan, the United States, and Australia failed to halt a fresh wave of panic sell-offs.

Stocks, bonds, gold, and commodities fell as the world struggles to contain coronavirus and investors and businesses scramble for hard cash.

Nearly every stock market in Asia was down, as circuit breakers were hit in South Korea, Indonesia. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell about 5% to a four-year low, with Korea and Taiwan leading losses.

Traders reported huge strains in bond markets as distressed funds sold any liquid asset to cover losses in stocks and redemptions from investors.

Gold dropped 1% and copper hit its down limit in Shanghai, China.

The selloff followed an attempt at stabilizing in morning trade, with European Central Bank pledging to buy 750 billion Euro in bonds through 2020 on Tuesday.

In addition, yesterday the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank promised a liquidity facility for money market mutual funds, while the Bank of Japan made two unscheduled bonds purchases $12 billion.

But as with previous massive stimulus measures already announced by central banks around the world, it offered little salve to dire sentiment.

Global Investment Trends Monitor, Foreign Direct Investment

In currencies, everything except the dollar and the euro collapsed. Sterling teetered near its lowest since at least 1985. The yen fell 1% to 109.16 per dollar.

Oil prices surged on Thursday but pared early gains as investors tried to assess how effective massive stimulus by central banks will be in shoring up the global economy as the shock from the coronavirus pandemic deepens.

Brent crude was up 1.6% at $26.48 a barrel by 9.05 am Nigerian time, having earlier risen to $27.19.

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