LONDON (Reuters) - Sell, sell, sell.
A coronavirus-induced meltdown on Wall Street and other financial markets saw prices plunge on Thursday for everything from stocks and corporate bonds to bitcoin, oil and gold — wiping trillions of dollars from investment portfolios and company valuations.
European stocks dropped as much as 12% on the day, while the U.S. S&P 500 clocked its second 8%-plus decline this week. The Dow Jones index was on course for its worst session since the 1987 crash, bitcoin fell by a quarter and even gold, usually a “safe haven”, slid 3%.
Hundreds of billions of dollars in relief money to combat the spreading virus, central bank rate cuts and liquidity injections, fiscal stimulus by governments — none of these have calmed investors who are frantically exiting risky assets.
The virus fears have decimated the longest bull market in stock market history in less than a month, with the MSCI all-country world index .MIWD00000PUS shedding 24% in just 20 sessions, entering bear market territory.
(Graphic: MSCI All-Country World Index falls into bear market here)
World markets have now lost $18 trillion from February’s peak in one of the fastest selloffs from bull to bear market.
(Graphic: $18 trillion lost in world market cap here)
U.S. President Donald Trump's measures to try to control the spread of the virus failed to impress investors, leading to another 8% drop in the S&P 500 .SPX on Thursday, the second such fall this week.
(Graphic: S&P 500 falls into bear market in second 8% fall this week here)
The pan-European STOXX 600 is set for its biggest single-day drop in the history of the index and the only double-digit decline, surpassing even those seen during the 2008 global financial crisis.
(Graphic: STOXX 600 falls 10% in single day in biggest daily drop ever here)
The Bank of England rate cut and government fiscal stimulus announced on Wednesday were not enough to stop the capitulation in FTSE 100, which now is heading for its worst single-day drop since the 1987 stock market crash.
(Graphic: FTSE falls nearly 9% in worst days since 1987 here)
Investors typically take shelter in safe-haven assets such as gold or in alternative assets such as bitcoin during such market crashes — but this time it’s different.
(Graphic: Bitcoin plummets 25% amid global market turmoil here)
(Graphic: Gold falls nearly 4% here)
The U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the Australian and Canadian central banks were among the first responders to the crisis with sharp 50 basis point interest rate cuts — but how much more room do they have if this crisis deepens?
(Graphic: The only way is down here)
Reporting by Thyagaraju Adinarayan; Graphics by Ritvik Carvalho; Editing by Mike Dolan and Catherine Evans