Australian stocks slip to 8-year low as S&P 500 futures hit limit down

  • Investors shun risk in Asia on global recession fears. 
  • Australian stocks tumble to multi-year lows with the US stock futures falling by 5%. 

Stock markets are again bleeding with investors seeking shelter in cash amid mounting fears of a coronavirus-led global recession. 

Australia's benchmark equity index S&P/ASX 200 fell to A$ 4,413 early Monday to hit the lowest level in eight years. The index is currently reporting a 7% drop. 

Meanwhile, the futures tied to the S&P 500 are down 4.3%. The US stock futures fell 5% in early Asia, triggering a "limit down" - the maximum percentage decline possible in one trading day - as the number of virus-related deaths surged over the weekend and a congressional rescue package hit a procedural roadblock in the Senate on Sunday,

Analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said last week they expect the US economic output to drop 24% in the second quarter, one of the worst readings on record, according to Wall Street Journal. 

Central banks from New Zealand to Canada have announced stimulus measures over the last couple of weeks to counter the coronavirus-led slowdown in their respective economies. So far, however, the massive liquidity injections and rate cuts have failed to put a floor under the equity markets. 

Investors are even selling traditional safe havens like gold and rotating money into US dollars, the global reserve currency. At press time, the dollar index, which tracks the value of the greenback against majors is hovering above 102.50, representing a 4.6% gain on a month-to-date basis. 

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