European markets are all trading lower Thursday amid rising fears that the global economy is still in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic.
London’s FTSE index is down a whopping 2.2% in midday trading, with the CAC-40 in Paris trading 1.8% lower and Frankfurt’s DAX index down 1.5%.
Thursday’s selloff began earlier in Asia, with Tokyo’s Nikkei index and the S&P/ASX in Sydney both losing 1.7% at their closing bells. Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai and Taipei also posted significant losses.
Investors appear to be disheartened by a warning issued Wednesday by Jerome Powell, the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, that the current economic downturn caused by the global COVID-19 outbreak will last into the foreseeable future.
In futures trading, the Dow Jones was slightly lower, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are in positive territory, indicating a mixed start for Wall Street Thursday.
While equities are losing ground, the price of oil is on the upswing. The U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude is trading at $26.37 per barrel, up 4.2%, while Brent crude, the international benchmark, is selling at $30.28 per barrel, up 3.7%.