Asian shares plunge due to virus, central banks offer temporary relief

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Asian shares underperformed on Monday and oil prices sunk further as pessimism emerged that the worldwide shutdown and restrictions could last longer, impacting the global economy despite central banks’ necessary measures.  

Japan’s benchmark index Nikkei declined by 2.7% and Shanghai blue chips lost 1.8%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched down with 0.7%.

S&P E-Mini futures recovered some losses and recorded a 0.3% increase. The upbeat activity was mainly from surge in demand at the latter part of the month. EUROSTOXXX 50 stabilized at 0.5% as FTSE futures remained neutral.

Central banks implemented all necessary actions including interest rate reductions and intensive asset purchase. These were aimed at relieving financial markets from liquidity issues that the novel coronavirus had inflicted.  

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