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Yen Surges as Oil Price War Adds to Global Worries

Monday 9th March 2020

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Crude oil prices crashed and U.S. equity futures plunged at the open Monday in Asia, while the yen and sovereign bonds jumped, as a price war for crude threatened an already fragile global economy hit by increasing coronavirus worries.

Brent opened 20% lower. S&P 500 futures were down well over 3%. Japan’s yen was up about 1% against the greenback in early trading, while the Mexican peso tumbled along with Canada’s dollar. Equities in the Middle East plunged on Sunday as Saudi Arabia slashed the price of its crude after producers failed to agree on supply cuts. Stocks in Asia looked set for more declines and bond yields slid in Australia and New Zealand.

Global markets are on course for another rocky week with sentiment battered as the virus continues to spread and cause more disruption to economies. The oil-price war comes as U.S. stocks fell back into a correction and Treasury yields slumped to all-time lows.

Meantime, expectations are growing for a recession in some major economies. Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Joachim Fels said the U.S. and Europe face the “distinct possibility” of a technical recession in the first half of this year as the virus hammers demand and drives money into safe haven assets.


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