Is it possible the coronavirus affects markets?

The Black Swan Event
No one can predict the Black Swan event, but this coronavirus is a danger in many ways.

The question could coronavirus be the Black Swan event for the stock market, started with the increasing number of infected people. But this reason isn’t the only one that generates this question. Numerous companies temporarily shut down their operations in China. According to CNBC, General Motors’s spokesman sent an email that stated the company said to its employees that it will keep its factories in the country shut through Feb. 9. General Motors is the largest U.S. automaker in China. Also, Starbucks temporarily shut down almost half of the existing locations in the same country. Moreover, if the infection progresses, the company will close more without hesitation, said its CEO, Kevin Johnson. Google is another large company that temporarily closed its offices, and Microsoft employees in China will work from home until Feb. 9. Amazon and Google have restricted employees to travel to China. Also, many airline companies slashed or stopped their flights to China. All due to government-imposed travel bans in China.

Markets reaction

Markets are reacting to the potential consequence of the coronavirus blast.
Global markets sold off on Monday but started to stabilize on Tuesday. The stocks are still close to record highs reached recently. But the comparisons with the 2003 SARS is out the question. Though, everyone makes them. 

Could coronavirus be the Black Swan event for the markets?

Let’s say this, in 2003 China growth was reduced by 1 percentage point. But the growth rate of China’s economy since 2003 increased and China has a bigger role in the worldwide markets today. Maybe the markets shouldn’t be so careless this time.

The coronavirus could have a far more serious impact on the world economy than the SARS epidemic in 2003. At the end of 2002, the Chinese GDP was estimated at around $1.5 trillion, 4% of global GDP. In 2019, the Chinese GDP was $14.3 trillion and above 16% of global GDP. In the time of the SARS epidemic, China just joined the World Trade Organization. That’s the main difference.

Influence on the global economy

According to some estimates, today even a small downturn in the Chinese economy can cause volatility in the global oil market and global trade, for example.
Firstly, the number of tourist and business trips to China is already declining. Further, China’s GDP growth rate could decline by 0.5% to 5.6 percent this year, as a result of the outbreak of the virus corona epidemic, according to some experts.
As we can see, the coronavirus has already impacted the world’s commodity markets, including the oil market. 

The price of Brent crude oil has fallen 14% since the beginning of this year, largely due to news from China and continues to decrease.

But could it be a Black Swan event?

The coronavirus is an understandable concern to stock market investors. Since the stock market is overbought and in such a condition, it can be extremely unsafe and vulnerable. Some investors are convinced that the coronavirus epidemic could cause the Black Swan event in the markets. Moreover, they started to buy on dips thinking that this event is temporary and will not live for a long time.

We all hope so since medical science has dramatically advanced and the virus could be contained. But who can predict what is going to happen in the markets? The Black Swan event could happen or not. There is a 50/50 chance, in fact.

Investors should be realistic. The coronavirus can be a seasonal event and by spring it can be contained. But as we said, even such a small and short-term event may cause changes in the stock prices. Of course, when the number of cases is increasing, the stock market is decreasing. The main problem to the market is that this virus appeared in the time of bullishness in the stock market. This is a critical point.

It can be the Black Swan event for the Asian market

Asian markets fell Thursday, January 30. The reported number of coronavirus infected increases every minute. That makes difficulties for the global economy. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HSI) had its worst day since August this year on Wednesday, January 29. The index lost 2.1% and it already has fallen over 5% in January. 

Japan’s Nikkei 225 sunk by almost 2% on Wednesday. South Korea’s Kospi fell 1.5%. But Taiwan is the biggest loser among the Asian markets, Taiex fell 5.5%.

So, the virus can really disrupt China’s and Asian economy. How far it will spread? Will it affect the global markets? 

Several circumstances could lead coronavirus to affect asset prices on a global level. On Monday, January 27, the US stocks dropped significantly gaining a new low record since October last year. The fear is rising. Investors are moving their holdings from risky stocks to safe havens. The coronavirus affected the global markets. Is it a Black Swan event? The risk is high and also the possibility. The influence of coronavirus on global stock markets is than SARS could ever do. 

How is it possible the coronavirus affects markets so quickly?

First of all, the news is spreading very fast creating reasons for turbulent market moves. The virus’ is spreading over the world fast and leads to market downswings. The global supply chains are interconnected tighter than ever. The trade networks are complex and, at the same time, vulnerable. So, some kind of domino-effect is very possible. If the coronavirus spread extensively that will influence the companies based in China. 

Also, if the coronavirus continues to spread, it could reflect in stock prices. Well, one of the biggest global economies is affected already.
JPMorgan decreased its  GDP estimate for China on Wednesday, indicating a “demand-side shock” caused by the coronavirus. 

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Thus, the positive 2020 economic predictions can be undone very easily due to coronavirus.

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