Asian stocks had a very volatile session on Friday. After the initial deep decline, equities trimmed losses by the end of trading. In Australia, S&P/ASX 200 closed nearly 4.5% higher after falling over 8% at the lows while China’s Shanghai Composite finished down 1.23%. as global sell-off continues to ease, European stocks nave recovered some ground after decent falls yesterday. Overnight, the Dow and S&P 500 on Wall Street saw their biggest one-day declines since 1987.
Some signs of easing downside pressure come as authorities across the globe take measures to support markets and the economy in an effort to mitigate the negative impact of the coronavirus outbreak. For example, today, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority prohibited short selling of a set of shares in Italian and Spanish companies after a dramatic decline in both countries’ indexes on Thursday. Also, South Korea announced a ban on stocks short-selling for six months starting from next Monday.
On the data front, Germany’s February final CPI came in at +1.7%, in line with the preliminary estimate. On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.4%, also as expected. Wholesale price index declined 0.9% last month versus +1.0% prior. The euro has barely reacted to the releases as the pair is driven by a general sentiment towards the greenback. USD rose on Thursday and remains elevated after a dip earlier this week. EURUSD has been on the defensive for the fourth day in a row but manages to hold above the 1.11 handle today after a brieа dip towards 1.1050 on Thursday.
Elsewhere, bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market in general, continue to bleed. The sell-off in the leading digital currency accelerated dramatically, with BTCUSD extending losses to fresh one-year lows around $3,800. After an abrupt dip, the prices bounced quickly climbed back to $5,700. As a reminder, this week’s highs arrive just below the $9,000 figure. The volatility in the market will likely remain high in the short term, and it’s too early to call a bottom for bitcoin as another sell-off may follow.