March performance was negative for all markets as expected due to the Corona epidemic impact. The 14 markets of the sample achieved varying losses, some of which were historical losses compared with the end of February 2020 performance and compared also with the end of 2019 performance. All market losses compared to the end of February and the end of last year were two digits except for the Chinese market which had losses within one digit, which means it was the least losing market as China has come a long way in its attempt to contain the Corona pandemic.
The biggest loser in March and the biggest loser since the beginning of the year was the Dubai stock market whose index lost -31.6% and lost about -35.9% compared with the end of the last year. Abu Dhabi market came next by -23.8% losses in one month and -26.4% losses compared with the end of the previous year. The Indian market came third by -23.1% losses, followed by Boursa Kuwait, Bahraini and French markets by -20.6%, -18.7% and -17.2% respectively. The Chinese market achieved the lowest losses in March and during the current year as we mentioned, as it lost about -4.5% in one month and about -9.8% during the 1st Q of 2020.
In general, variables are connected with the Corona pandemic repercussions which are unknown until now. What happened in March is an indication of the severity of that effect. We believe that all markets will keep their doors open to all probabilities, including more losses, unless firm estimates indicate the timing of the Corona virus elimination. Certainly, uncertainty surrounds the fight against the Corona virus and has a significant influence on the markets and the dealers’ confidence. It is likely that markets might witness more losses until optimism is restored and stocks begin to rise.