Global stocks and oil prices fell Monday as rising coronavirus cases in Beijing raised fears that the Chinese capital could join Shanghai and other major cities. in a prolonged block.
China’s Shanghai Composite fell 5.1% to close at a 22-month low. It was the worst day for the index since February 3, 2020, when the initial coronavirus outbreak shook the country’s stock market for the first time.
Elsewhere in the region, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 3.7%. Japan’s Nikkei Index fell 1.9% and Korea’s Kospi (Kospi) fell 1.7%.
European stock exchanges have also opened in strong decline. The FTSE 100 fell 2.1% in London, while the German DAX fell 1.5%. France’s CAC 40 index fell 2.2%, despite market relief from President Emmanuel Macron’s victory over far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the elections.
The decline in Asian and European markets came after a gloomy session on Friday for US equities. The Dow Jones fell 980 points, or 2.8%, following comments on aggressive rate hikes by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Standard & Poor’s 500 and Nasdaq also fell more than 2.5%.
Concerns about the deterioration of the coronavirus situation in China are adding to the downward momentum. Today i future on the “Dow Jones” index fell by 305 points, or 0.9%, while contracts future on the “Standard & Poor’s 500” and on the “Nasdaq” they decreased by 1%.
Beijing, which has a population of 21 million, has started i test mass over the weekend and closed apartment complexes, raising concerns that stricter restrictions could be implemented soon in line with other Chinese cities.
“Although parts of China have been restricted for longer than Shanghai, Omicron’s arrival in Beijing would be a disturbing development,” wrote Jeffrey Haley, chief market analyst at OANDA.
He said: “China is the second largest economy in the world and has shown no sign of its intention to coexist with the virus.” “With this in mind, the potential pressure valve will be a disruption to the Chinese export car and destroy consumer confidence. “
“China appears to be the elephant in the room and the markets believe that slowing Chinese growth could materially alter the supply / demand equation in international markets,” he added.
The pressure to contain the outbreak in Beijing comes as cases continue to rise in Shanghai. The Shanghai closure has already forced many factories to suspend production and increase shipping delays, threatening to cause a major shock to its vast economy and put more pressure on global supply chains.
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