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Asian share markets plunged to two-week lows on Wednesday as crude oil prices collapsed. The market decline underscored the deep economic harm caused by the coronavirus crisis.
Investors rushed to the security of government debt as Brent oil futures dropped to a record fall.
The oil price decline pushed traders to steer clear of stocks. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.8% and Japan’s Nikkei dropped 1.3%.
The U.S. WTI futures contract fell for the first time in history. The global benchmark Brent futures dipped 3.7%, closing at $18.62.
U.S. crude futures for June delivery traded at $12.78 per barrel.
Wall Street’s S&P 500 fell 3.07%, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 3.48%.
The risk-averse market sentiment came after some U.S. states expressed plans to partially reopen for business.
As the plan of reopening the economy proved to be very difficult, the five-year U.S. Treasury yields dropped to a record fall on rising prices for bonds.