Thu, 13 May 2021

NEW YORK, New York - U.S. and global stock markets shattered on Wednesday with the key Dow Jones index plunging more than 900 points.

With six days to the U.S. election, one of incumbent President Trump's major platforms, a strong stock market, is falling apart. The latest meltdown however comes on two fronts in which he has played a major part. One is the inability of his administration to negotiate a stimulus package with Congress, and secondly his handling of the coronavirus.

The pandemic is surging in the United States in a third wave, and in Europe, France and Germany on Wednesday announced they were going into lockdown. The German Dax plunged 4.17 percent. In Paris, the CAC 40 dived 3.37 percent.

"Obviously the virus is out of control. It's spiking, it's bad," Eric Kuby, chief investment officer at North Star Investment Management Corp in Chicago told Reuters Thomson Wednesday. "The concept that ... it's going to disappear is just a faulty assumption."

The biggest loser on the day was the hospitality industry with shares worldwide in airlines, and hotel chains diving.

At the close on Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 943.24 points, or 3.43%, at 26,519.95.

The Standard and Poor's 500 fell 119.65 points, or 3.53%, to 3,271.03.

The Nasdaq Composite tumbled 426.48 points, or 3.73%, to 11,004.87.

With stocks plunging, currency markets saw a flight to the safe haven U.S. dollar. As the uncertainty raged, the euro dropped to 1.1751. The British pound fell to 1.2992. The Japanese yen eased to 104.29. The Swiss franc was softer at 0.9101.

The Canadian dollar dived to 1.3307 by the New York close Wednesday. The Australian dollar fell sharply to 0.7058. The New Zealand dollar weakened to 0.6646.

In London, the FTSE 100 closed down 2.55 percent.

On Asian markets, in Japan the Nikkei 225 fell 67.29 points or 0.29 percent to 23,418.51.

China's Shanghai Composite climbed 14.92 points or 0.46 percent to 3,269.24, as the Chinese economy shows signs of getting back on track.

The Australian All Ordinaries jumped 14.60 points or 0.23 percent to 6,261.80.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng sank 91.86 points or 0.37 percent to 24,695.33.

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