Market round up: hoped-for bounce fails to materialise as shares slip still further

Gold continues its rise as a safe haven during stock market turmoil

                                

While Warren Buffet may have no plans to offload equities, suggesting stockholders play the long game, it seems that most investors have other ideas.

The fall across global markets was almost comprehensive with only the Hang Seng in Hong Kong bucking the trend with a modest 0.27 per cent rise.

For the remainder, the collapse that started yesterday, when more than $1trn was wiped of the value of companies, continued.

Early indications were that speculators, pouncing to reap rewards by picking up cut-price bargains, would result in markets rising. These were quickly dashed; Asia opened with a flurry, as did the European markets. But it was all short-lived as virus fears once again took hold. For now, all eyes are on the US to see if it can reverse the global trend.

The Nikkei in Tokyo closed down 3.34 per cent. China’s Shanghai Composite was down 0.6 per cent.

The European losses are around the 2 per cent mark, maintaining the grind of daily drops. The FTSE did start on a positive note, rising nearly 0.5 per cent, but that turned sour as trading progressed. It closed at 7,017.88 – the lowest for a year and a long way from the 7,674 it saw at the start of January.

The US followed Asia and Europe by opening higher – Dow Jones up 0.45 per cent, S&P 500 up 0.37 per cent and the Nasdaq up 0.59 per cent. It only took a short while before they, too, turned red. At 5pm all three were down.

Whether investors will heed Mr Buffet’s advice and hold their nerve remains to be seen. If it’s good, short-term returns investors are seeking, they would do no better than gold, which today saw a near 3 per cent rise cementing yesterday’s seven-year high.

On the currency front, the pound was today’s winner, the only one with all green against its main global rivals. Meanwhile, the dollar picked up the wooden spoon down by a little over 0.6 per cent against sterling making a dollar worth just over 77p.

The dollar may be having a bad day against the paper currencies but Bitcoin (more than 5 per cent) and Ethereum (just over 3 per cent) were both down against it. Litecoin was trading up.

FURTHER READING: Unstoppable breakout: Gold price technical analysis

FURTHER READING: Equities should outperform for another year

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