Asian stocks tumble after the U.S. fails to reach a deal.
Financial markets look set for another troubled week, as most of Asia’s stock markets tumbled on Monday and investors looked for safe places to park their money.
Tokyo shares were up half a percent on Monday morning, but stocks in the Asia-Pacific region were broadly and heavily lower. Hong Kong and South Korea shares were down more than 4 percent. The biggest drop in the region came from Australia, where stocks fell more than 6 percent.
Futures markets signaled that Wall Street would open sharply lower.
Investors were reacting in part to a political stalemate in the United States. Senate Democrats on Sunday blocked action on an emerging deal to prop up the American economy, halting the progress of a nearly $2 trillion government rescue package. They contended that the legislation failed to adequately protect workers or impose strict enough restrictions on bailed-out businesses.
Investors signaled their skittishness by putting money in places generally considered safe. The price of the 10-year Treasury bond rose, sending yields lower. Gold futures also rose. Oil prices were mixed, with American benchmark crude modestly higher but European crude falling more than 3 percent.
A recession looms as the economic outlook darkens daily.
The American economy is facing a plunge into uncharted waters.
Economists say there is little doubt that the nation is headed into a recession. But it is harder to foresee the bottom, or predict how long it will take to climb back. The abruptness of the descent — and the near-lockdown of major cities — is unheard-of in advanced economies, more akin to wartime privation than to the downturn that accompanied the financial crisis more than a decade ago, or even the Great Depression.
Smaller companies will be hit harder than large ones because they have limited access to credit and less cash in the bank; a wide swath will be unable to survive. And unemployment could hit 10 percent in April, a level unseen since the nadir of the last recession, with the possibility of even higher jobless rates in the following months
A strong rebound — what economists call a V-shaped recovery, as opposed to a U-shaped one, with an extended low — would require a profound resurgence in confidence. But few see that on the horizon.