Global markets were facing intense volatility on Monday after a near 30 percent decline in oil prices over the weekend. The decline in oil prices coupled with the severe quarantine measures implemented in Italy, caused traders to sell their assets during the Asian session and into the European trading session. The Dow looks poised to fall 1,200 points at the open as well.
Asian markets closed steeply lower on Monday, with Australia’s ASX 200 seeing the steepest decline of 7.33 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed down 5.07 percent, South Korea’s Kospi ended down 4.19 percent, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index ended down 4.23 percent. Both of China’s benchmark indexes were down more than 3 percent.
In Europe the trading session got off to a rocky start, with Italy’s FTSE MIB getting a late start and then falling nearly 11 percent on the open. The FTSE was down 6.07 percent as of 9:58 a.m. GMT. The DAX shed 5.83 percent, and France’s CAC eased 6.44 percent.
Cryptos Also Suffer…
The losses, however, weren’t limited to the stock markets. The cryptocurrency markets have also been shaken violently in recent sessions. The price of Bitcoin has fallen nearly ten percent in the past 24 hours, and the most popular cryptocurrency is now fetching $7,895.47 according to Coinbase. Ethereum plummeted over 11 percent, while Bitcoin Cash slumped nearly 14 percent. Despite these steep losses, Bitcoin remains up some nine percent YTD.
Cryptocurrencies are particularly vulnerable to volatility in the markets, so while these losses may seem significant, they may also present excellent buying opportunities for those who want to take advantage of the dips.
So Do Currencies
The U.S. dollar was down 2.792 percent against the safe haven yen on Monday morning in Europe, falling to 102.36. Just last week the yen was trading at levels above 108 against the greenback, but uncertainty about coronavirus and the bloodbath in the oil markets has strengthened the currency to levels not seen in years. In fact, Japan’s Finance Minister Taro Aso warned investors against rapid spikes in the Japanese currency and has announced that the Japanese government will be carefully monitoring the situation and determining whether intervention is needed.
The euro spiked 1.14 percent against the dollar to trade at $1.141 while the pound was up 0.57 percent against the greenback.