Wall Street sell-off sends double-digit falls in stocks as investors opt to cash

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Wall Street slipped into bear market on Thursday, along with decline in European stocks, Bitcoin, and precious metals, as investors sell assets in return for cash.

Bitcoin fell 26%, its biggest drop in seven years. Precious metals like platinum and palladium suffered their steepest declines since the 1980s, with 20.4% and 11.1% declines, respectively.

The Canadian dollar neared a four-year low as Brent crude slid 7.2% and Europe’s STOXX 600 index declined over 11%.

The sell-offs were triggered by concerns over the virus and the impact on global economy, as well as the sudden US travel ban across Europe and the steep decline in oil and jet fuel demands.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq Composite Index, and S&P 500 all fell over 9%.

Investors turned to cash in recent weeks as market fears grew. US money market funds took in $87.6 billion as Wall Street stocks declined.

Oil-related assets suffered double-digit falls. The S&P 500 energy index fell 12.3%.

MSCI reported its largest one-day decline in 32 years, at 9.3%.

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