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U.S. stocks sink in afternoon trade, VIX jumps 20%

U.S. stocks sink in afternoon trade, VIX jumps 20%
U.S. stocks took a sudden downturn in the afternoon as the Dow Jones dropped over 450 points. The VIX jumped almost 20%.
May 13, 2020 Tags: Stocks for Breakfast

The past 24 hours have seen volatility return to the markets as investors turn their attention back to the economic impacts of COVID-19 and assess the potential of a longer than expected recovery time.

The ASX turned negative on Tuesday, falling 1.1%, while the Hang Seng dipped 1.5% on Hong Kong and Shanghai traded somewhat flat. European markets traded mostly higher but U.S. stocks took a sudden downturn in the afternoon as the Dow Jones dropped over 450 points. The VIX jumped almost 20%.

Australian stocks - just like most other developed markets - continued to recover last week as getting back to business became a reality, however any sign of a second wave of either the virus or fear could have a devastating impact on our market.

On the economic data front, unemployment data will be released this Thursday. Even though a substantial increase is expected, the alarming numbers will certainly be a rality check for our market.

Add China trade wars into the mix, a factor that is being exacerbated by the US’s stance and you have a perfect storm.

As a measure of the tension that is building, the CBOE Volatility Index spiked 20% last night to 33 points, its largest one-day gain since mid-April.

Our market already has some ground to make up after the S&P/ASX 200 index fell 58 points or 1.1% to 5403 points yesterday.

ASX SPI200 futures index which is down 68 points to 5320 points.

U.S. stocks wobble overnight
In the US, even the NASDAQ’s six day stampede came to a halt as warnings from authorities suggested a return to business would be dangerous and could lead to a second wave, the signs of which have disturbingly started to emerge in Wuhan, China.

The technology focused index slumped 2% or 190 points to close at 9002 points, giving up about half of the gains that were made over the last five trading days.

The Dow fell 1.9% or 457 points to close at 23,764 points. The S&P 500 fell 2% or 60 points, closing at 2870 points.

European markets traded mixed. The UK market rallied nearly 1% or 55 points to close at 5994 points after breaking through the 6000 point mark earlier in the day. However, the positive sentiment didn’t rub off on mainland European markets with the DAX closing relatively flat at 10,819 points and the CAC 40 shedding 18 points or 0.4% to close at 4472 points.

Yesterday the Hang Seng moved in similar fashion to the ASX, coming off 1.4% or 356 points to close at 24,245 points.

The Nikkei 225 was more resilient, falling just 24 points or 0.1% to close at 20,366 points. The Shanghai Composite only came off slightly, closing at 2891 points.

While there was little movement in the gold price overnight, it could come back into the picture today given global volatility.

It is currently sitting just above the US$1700 per ounce mark.

There was weakness in the oil price late in the session with the Brent Crude Oil Continuous Contract falling nearly 2% to close at US$29.47 per barrel.

The Australian dollar was relatively unmoved, fetching just shy of US$0.65.

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ASX futures drop 20 points as Wall Street fades

MSCI’s gauge of world stocks lifted overnight despite a late sell-off on Wall Street as investors decided to take risk off the table ahead of a news conference of US President Donald Trump on Friday about China.

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