U.S. stocks tumbled for a second day, while Treasury yields plunged to fresh records amid mounting concerns that the coronavirus outbreak will derail economic growth. The yen and gold continued to rally.

The S&P 500 pushed it two-day rout to more than six per cent as cases of the virus multiplied across the U.S., shaking confidence in the world’s largest economy. European and Asian benchmarks also suffered deep declines. The woes seeped into corporate bonds as the credit market’s fear gauge jumped the most since 2011.

Ten-year Treasury yields plunged to as low as 0.69 per cent, while the dollar fell for the sixth time in seven days. Oil tanked as OPEC has been unable to agree on deep output cuts to combat the impact of COVID-19.

“Let’s face it: Over the next several weeks, we’re going to see some ugly data and we’re going to see containment measures, which means curtailing of activity,” Anastasia Amoroso, global investment specialist at JPMorgan Private Bank, told Bloomberg TV.

While concerted efforts from central banks and governments to soften the blow from the virus spurred gains across equity markets earlier in the week, investors are back to taking risk off the table and piling into the world’s safest and most liquid assets. The number of coronavirus cases globally approached 100,000, as more infections were reported in the U.S., Germany and South Korea.

Markets mostly shrugged off the latest U.S. jobs report, which showed the biggest gain in nearly two years, because it only reflected conditions before the virus outbreak began snarling global supply chains and intensified across America.

These are the main moves in markets


  • The S&P 500 Index dropped 2.8 per cent as of 9:30 a.m. New York time.
  • The Nasdaq Composite Index fell three per cent.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 4.1 per cent.
  • Germany’s DAX Index fell 3.9 per cent.


  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.4 per cent
  • The British pound increased 0.5 per cent to $1.3018.
  • The euro advanced one per cent to US$1.1344.
  • The Japanese yen strengthened one per cent to 105.07 per dollar.


  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell 21 basis points to 0.70 per cent
  • The yield on two-year Treasuries declined 16 basis points to 0.44 per cent.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield decreased five basis points to -0.73 per cent.


  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 3.9 per cent to $44.14 a barrel.
  • Gold strengthened 0.2 per cent to US$1,672.20 an ounce.

--With assistance from Jonathan Ferro, Adam Haigh and Vildana Hajric.