Global stock markets crashed on Friday, ending a years-long bull run, with coronavirus panic selling hitting almost every asset class and leaving investors nowhere to hide. Half a trillion dollars in liquidity from the U.S. Federal Reserve and the promise of more were not enough to calm the fear that has wiped some US$14 trillion from world stocks in a month.
World oil prices crashed on Monday, fuelling a vicious selloff on stock markets that were already buckling from the spreading coronavirus outbreak. Stocks tanked as the global oil market nosedived 30% at one stage after top exporter Saudi Arabia slashed the prices it charges customers following a bust-up with Russia over crude production cuts.
Robot trading has accelerated this week's market dive and may have sparked the sell-off, experts say. Financial firms use computers programmed with complex sets of instructions known as algorithms, which identify trading opportunities and then strike faster than any human could.