Investors are waking up “shell shocked,” wrote Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at AxiCorp, in a Monday research note. He described the panic as “complete pandemonium.”
The one-two punch of Saudi Arabia’s oil price war and the deepening coronavirus fears in Europe added “another level of unwanted panic to a market already thick with fear,” Innes said, noting that investors have begun piling into safe haven assets.
The Japanese yen surged against the US dollar to its strongest level in more than three years, while gold briefly traded above $1,700 per ounce and hit its highest levels since 2012.
Wall Street has faced heavy losses for the past several weeks due to fears surrounding the coronavirus. During the last week of February, US stocks had their worst week since the financial crisis, and the economic disruption caused by the virus doesn’t appear to be letting up.
Global markets have also been battered in recent days. About $9 trillion was wiped off global stocks in nine days, Bank of America said in a research note after US markets closed deep in the red again on Thursday.
The scale of the coronavirus outbreak spread rapidly in the United States last week. At least 33 states now have cases of the virus, and many major US companies have begun encouraging or allowing employees to work from home.