Sunday, March 26, 2023

Worries as stock markets tumble globally

The S&P 500 on Wall Street lost 1.6 per cent at the start of trade, wiping out all of the previous day’s gains.

• March 15, 2023
global stock markets
Global stock markets [Photo Credit; The Economic Times]

Following a rebound on Tuesday when it seemed as though the panic was abating, stock markets slumped on Wednesday as concerns among investors about the condition of the banking sector swept the globe.

The S&P 500 on Wall Street lost 1.6 per cent at the start of trade, wiping out all of the previous day’s gains.

While concerns about the effects of the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, which were taken over by regulators after suffering devastating runs on deposits, remain, European markets were also severely impacted, with stocks of many of the region’s top banks plummeting dramatically.

The Swiss bank Credit Suisse, which has struggled for years to turn around its fortunes, seemed to be the primary cause of the day’s unrest as customers gradually shifted their money to competitor institutions. It experienced the most striking collapse, with its shares shedding over 30 per cent and hitting yet another record low. While Credit Suisse struggles with its most recent turnaround plan, the bank’s largest shareholder, Saudi National Bank, said on Wednesday that it will not provide the company any more money.

The cost of insuring the banks’ debt against a potential default increased dramatically as the price of their bonds plunged. On Tuesday, S&P Global Ratings stated that neither they nor any other European banks were exposed to the same risks as Silicon Valley Bank or Signature Bank.

After Silicon Valley Bank’s liquidation, shares of midsize regional banks in the United States started to decrease again.

First Republic Bank decreased by 24 per cent , PacWest decreased by 14 per cent , Western Alliance decreased by seven per cent, and Zions Bank decreased by more than 5 per cent.

The largest banks also suffered a little, with shares of JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America falling by more than three per cent each.

Peoples Gazette had earlier reported that the stock market in Asia fell on Tuesday, with bank shares dropping significantly following the decline in the United States stock market caused by the collapse of two U.S. banks.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index dropped 2.2 per cent, according to Voice of America, with shares of Softbank falling 4.1 per cent, Mizuho Financial Group falling 7.1 per cent, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group falling 9.8 per cent. Tuesday also saw a 2.4 per cent decline in the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong.

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