EBS | The impact of coronavirus on the financial markets by Hassan Obeid

09 Mar 2020
09 Mar 2020

The rapid geographical expansion of the coronavirus Covid-19 and the high contamination rates – nearly 100,000 infections in approximately 80 countries by March 4 – have spread fear around the planet and disrupted global economic activity.

Investors have naturally been concerned and stock markets around the world suffered trillions of US dollars of losses in a single week (ending February 28) in what was the markets’ worst week since the financial crisis of 2008.

On March 2, mainly due to declarations of stimulus measures by central banks, some markets rebounded and erased part of the previous week’s losses. However, the following day, they were hit by new losses, which indicates a clear instability.

How were the leading global stock markets hit during the February coronavirus crash? How does the crash compare with previous market falls and especially with the previous viral outbreaks? How long will it take for markets to readjust? What are the latest predictions of the global economic growth that is certainly expected to suffer due to Covid-19 outbreak?

Worst week since 2008 crisis


Even though the novel coronavirus outbreak started in December 2019, financial markets did not react immediately as there was little information on how long it might last, whether China would be able to quickly contain it and prevent it from spreading to other countries, and the risks that such a spread would entail for the global Economy.

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