- European stocks ended sharply lower as investors, chose to stay cautious and booked profits ahead of the weekend after recent strong up move.
- US stocks staged a recovery attempt in afternoon trading after coming under pressure early in the session but pulled back sharply going into the close. The Dow posted a steep loss after recording its biggest three-day spike since 1931.
- Asian stocks pared early gains to end on a mixed note as worries about an impending global recession offset investor optimism over U.S. stimulus and a pledge by G20 countries to inject $5 trillion into the global economy to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.
- Markets are expected to remain volatile on doubts whether additional stimulus measures by the US would be enough to offset the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Dow Jones futures dropped 344 points or 1.7%; The S&P 500 futures fell 42 points or 1.7%; The Nasdaq 100 futures went down 84 points or 1.1%.
- Fitch Ratings cut on Friday 27 March 2020 the United Kingdom’s sovereign credit rating to ‘AA-’ from ‘AA’ and assigned a negative outlook, citing as trigger behind the downgrade a significant weakening of the UK’s public finances caused by the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and a fiscal loosening stance that was instigated before the scale of the crisis became apparent. Standard & Poor’s credit rating for the United Kingdom stands at AA with stable outlook. Moody’s credit rating for the United Kingdom was last set at Aa2 with negative outlook. DBRS’s credit rating for the United Kingdom is AAA with stable outlook.
- The number of Americans filling for unemployment benefits jumped to 3.28 million in the week ended March 21st, the highest since the series began in 1967 and well above expectations of 1 million. The accommodation and food services sector was the hardest hit, while the health care & social assistance, arts, entertainment & recreation, transportation & warehousing, and manufacturing industries also saw an increase in unemployment. According to unadjusted data, the biggest rises were seen in Pennsylvania (+378,908), Ohio (+187,784) and California (+186,809). The 4-week moving average, which removes week-to-week volatility, also jumped to a record high of 1 million while continuing jobless claims increased to 1.8 million, above consensus of 1.71 million.
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