Coronavirus panic wipes $150billion from Australian shares in minutes

More than $100billion is wiped off the Australian stock exchange in ONE HOUR as global markets tank amid coronavirus panic

  • The benchmark S&P/ASX200 plunged by 5.2 per cent on Monday morning
  • The losses added up to $97.5billion marking biggest downturn since late 2008
  • CMC Markets described it as the biggest plunge since the global financial crisis 
  • A 30 per cent plunge in crude oil prices have sparked the share market plunge 

More than $100billion has been wiped from Australian shares as a dive in crude oil prices sparked more coronavirus panic. 

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 plunged 5.2 per cent within the first hour of trade, falling further below the 6,000-point level to hit 5,892 points. 

The market capitalisation of the Australian Securities Exchange has plummeted by $97.5billion, compared with Friday’s close, marking the worst downturn since October 2008 at the height of the global financial crisis.

The biggest losers on the share market

Oil Search: down 27 per cent to $3.74

Santos: down 25 per cent to $5.035 

Woodside: down 17 per cent to $21.99

The broader All Ordinaries index lost even more. 

Energy stocks took the biggest with Oil Search plunging 27 per cent to $3.74.

The oil and gas sector took the biggest hit as the Brent crude oil price fell by 30 per cent since Friday to a four-year low of $US31 a barrel. 

CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said coronavirus fears and a slump in crude oil prices were behind the share market plunge.

‘Definitely since GFC impacts we haven’t seen fall like this in 11 years,’ he told Daily Mail Australia on Monday.

More than $120billion has been wiped from Australian shares within minutes as new coronavirus cases spark panic among investors

‘The specific trigger is a huge plunge in crude oil prices.’ 

Global share markets have plunged after Russia reneged on an agreement with OPEC oil producing nations in the Middle East to restrict the supply of crude oil.

‘Oil prices fell 10 per cent on Friday night. This morning when futures opened, they fell another 25 per cent,’ Mr McCarthy said.

‘That rout in energy prices is really feeding into the fears there were already existing.

‘This shift on the supply side just shows how sensitive markets are to any real developments – supply increasing in a weak demand environment, markets tank.’

Mr McCarthy said the lockdown of Italy’s Lombardy region was stirring more fears of coronavirus hitting global growth. 

‘The coronavirus remains a great unknown – we’re pretty sure it’s going to have an economic impact,’ he said.

‘Nobody can say how big at this stage.’ 

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg blamed Monday’s share market plunge on the Russians failing to reach an agreement with the Saudis on oil production.

‘Market volality is not uncommon at times like this,’ he told reporters in Canberra on Monday. 

‘We’ve seen a steep drop in oil prices in recent weeks. 

‘Our financial system remains strong, our economy remains strong.’ 

Across the Tasman, Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran, the father of Bulldogs rugby league star Kieran Foran, proposed taking a 15 per cent pay cut.

This would see his pay fall by $A239,000 to $1.58million to cope with a weakening aviation environment.

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