Thu, 02 Apr 2020

World meltdown causing havoc to financial markets

Lola Evans
23 Mar 2020, 17:51 GMT+10

SYDNEY, Australia - The tide continued to turn for global stocks on Monday, as a weekend of shutdowns and lockdowns across the globe were supplemented with a fresh wave of moves on Monday.

The UAE government on Monday ordered its two national carriers, Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways to cease operations on Wednesday. The two airlines are among the biggest in the world, and would by far have the biggest reach. The UAE has also closed all shopping malls, restaurants and cafes. Bars were closed last week. Only essential businesses will operate such as pharmacies, and supermarkets. It is unclear whether construction sites will be shut down. Construction is rampant across the country despite a massive oversupply of residential, commercial and hotel property. Teams of construction workers from mainly Southeast Asian countries are employed on the sites, are bused to and from work in packed buses, and reside in high density labour camps with multiple occupants to a room. It was concerning on Sunday when new cases were announced that half of the cases comprised Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals. It was not however confirmed that these were labour workers.

Australian pubs across the nation were shuttered on Monday as were restaurants and cafes. The general population is being encouraged, but not forced, to practice self-isolation. Schools are remaining open but where parents can keep their children at home, they are being encouraged to do so. The NRL late Monday suspended its 2020 competition, the last of the country's sporting codes to do so. move followed news of the closure of all Queensland borders, and news that the number of coronavirus cases in the country had passed 1,700.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has brought in the military to help enforce a nationwide shutdown of all non-essential businesses.

As economies around the world are in the process of shutting down, the selling of stocks continues on. In Asia on Monday, the hardest hit market was the New Zealand market which dived 10% after the country shutdown was announced. The Australian market was also friendless. The benchmark All Ordinaries index fell 290.60 points or 5.98% to 4,564.10.

China's Shanghai Composite shed 85.45 points or 3.11% to 2,660.17.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong dived 1,108.94 points or 4.86% to 21,693.13.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 went against the trend, rising 318.52 points or 3.70% to 8,923.95.

The U.S. dollar lost ground across the board for no apparent reason. The euro firmed to 1.0726. The British pound strengthened to 1.1708. The Japanese yen nudged up to 110.05 by the Tokyo close on Monday.

The Swiss franc was stronger at 0.9812. The Canadian dollar rose to 1.4433.

The Australian dollar suprisingly shot higher, it last traded at 0.5785 in late Sydney trading.

The New Zealand dollar gained to 0.5667.

(Image credit: iStock by Getty Images).

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