European equities bear the brunt of the COVID-19 weakness led by financials and industrials

Despite the huge global stimulus response by policy makers, the downturn in global equity markets has remained sizable since they peaked on February 19. Unsurprisingly, being the new epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak, European equities have taken the brunt of the sell-off, particularly in Italy and Germany, France and Spain. Scandinavian equity markets have held up comparatively better, with falls in the mid-twenties.

The US and UK have also registered returns of about -30%, as investors absorb the impact of increasingly drastic measures to combat the outbreak. Relative to other markets, Japanese equities have, so far, outperformed, as have emerging markets, although since their peak, losses remain substantial for both markets.

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