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Speeches by both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and US President Donald Trump has done little to ease market fears with the ASX 200 slumping after the conclusion of President Trump’s address. The benchmark index is tumbling 303 points or 5.3% to 5422 with markets nose diving from when Donald Trump started speaking at midday Sydney time. The index fell as much as 435 points or 7.5%. US futures also sunk in response.

Scott Morrison’s address provided details of the Federal government’s response, with a package totalling $17.6 billion and will include cash and tax breaks to assist businesses and business investment, apprentices and trainees, households and regions most impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. President Trump’s response included the suspension of all travel from Europe to the US (excluding UK) for 30 days and proposed assistance for businesses but without providing detail.

All but two of the top 200 stocks on the ASX are in negative territory today with healthcare imaging company, Pro medicus (PME) the most improved at 1.15pm (AEDT) while the broader healthcare sector is experiencing the heaviest falls. Biotech firm, CSL Ltd (CSL) is sliding 6.8% while Sonic Healthcare (SHL) is close to 5.5% lower.

The major banks are all down around 4-6% while miners are falling 4-7%. Fortescue is underperforming its peers. Again gold is not managing to remain stable as the safe haven has done in the past. Gold miners are also suffering large declines. Newcrest Mining (NCM) is shedding 8% with Northern Star (NST) falling 6.7%. Other traditional defensive names are also sharply in the red. Utilities like AGL Energy (AGL) is down 4% while supermarket giants Coles (COL) and Woolworths (WOW) are both down more than 2.5%.

Travel stocks are also again slumping following further travel bans being announced. Qantas (QAN) is tumbling 10% while travel agent businesses such as Webjet (WEB) and Flight Centre (FLT) have dropped 14% and 16% respectively. Virgin Australia (VAH) is falling 18%.

The AUD is buying 64.64 US cents with 2.7b units traded worth $6.6b. 103 stocks are higher, 1142 are lower and 221 are unchanged.

Published by CommSec