Stock market bloodbath continues

Mohamed Samir
3 Min Read

The coronavirus pandemic continues to cause massive volatility on financial markets, Wednesday, on the back of the soaring worldwide coronavirus infections. At the time of publishing, the number of confirmed cases has surpassed 885,171 worldwide, with the death toll exceeding 44,208.

The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) stood at EGP 526bn at the close of trade on Wednesday, shedding about EGP 6.8bn in market capitalisation.

Egypt’s blue-chip index EGX 30 dropped 1.76% to close at 9,424 points, with the small and mid-cap index, EGX 70, lessning by 0.87% to close at 986 points. Yhe broader index EGX 100 decreased by 1.26%, to close at 1,017 points.

The equally weighted EGX 50 index dipped by 1.43%, to close at 1,329 points, whilst the Nile Index rose 2.38%, to close at 702 points.

European indices followed suit, as France’s CAC 40 sank 4.4% to 4,204, while Germany’s DAX dropped 3.9% to 9,546. The UK’s FTSE 100 fell 3.8% to 5,457 after major banks announced they were scrapping dividend payments, bringing their share prices sharply lower.

US President Donald Trump warned Americans, late on Tuesday, to brace for a “hell of a bad two weeks” ahead. President Trump’s warning came as the White House revealed harsher projections estimating 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the US due to the pandemic. As a result, US stocks dived as the Dow Jones and S&P 500 both declined by 3.4%.

On the other side of the Pacific,  Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 sank 4.5%, to close at 18,065.41, as the country’s coronavirus cases have been steadily rising. The sharp rise in confirmed cases has sparked fears that it could be the next major epicentre.

Elsewhere in Asia, most markets ended lower on Wednesday. South Korea’s Kospi plunged 3.9% to 1,685.46, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 2.2% to 23,085.79, while the Shanghai Composite inched 0.6% lower to 2,734.52, while India’s Sensex plummeted 4.7%.

Australia’s stock market was the only exception, as the S&P/ASX 200 rallied 3.6%, to 5,258.60.

The global financial markets have been in a freefall since February on the back of the significant increase in the number of coronavirus cases worldwide.

The ongoing oil price war sent already anxious financial markets into further dive, as the dispute between Russia and Saudi Arabia pushed oil prices to a 30-year low. Brent crude futures registered at $22.74 a barrel, while American crude settled at $20.48 on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that the world faces a potentially more severe financial crisis than that of 2008.

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Mohamed Samir Khedr is an economic and political journalist, analyst, and editor specializing in geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, and the Eastern Mediterranean. For the past decade, he has covered Egypt's and the MENA region's financial, business, and geopolitical updates. Currently, he is the Executive Editor of the Daily News Egypt, where he leads a team of journalists in producing high-quality, in-depth reporting and analysis on the region's most pressing issues. His work has been featured in leading international publications. Samir is a highly respected expert on the Middle East and Africa, and his insights are regularly sought by policymakers, academics, and business leaders. He is a passionate advocate for independent journalism and a strong believer in the power of storytelling to inform and inspire. Twitter: LinkedIn: