Eat, Drink and Watch Virus: Weekend Plans for Scarred Investors
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)  

Eat, Drink and Watch Virus: Weekend Plans for Scarred Investors

(Bloomberg) -- After a harrowing week that featured trading halts and epic declines in some of the major markets, investors are looking to indulge in food, wine and video games over the weekend while keeping tabs on the virus.

Panic over the impact of the spreading coronavirus and an oil-price war took investors on a wild ride. Wall Street had its wildest week since 1929, benchmark indexes sank across regions, and trading suspensions were triggered from Seoul to Bangkok and Mumbai on Friday.

Eat, Drink and Watch Virus: Weekend Plans for Scarred Investors

“I had red eyes for most of my days in the past week,” said Vitai Ratanakorn, the head of Thailand’s Government Pension Fund, which manages about $30 billion in assets. “The stock markets are so volatile. It is hard to have good sleep.”

The intense whipsaws in equities have left global stocks down more than 12% for the week, the most since October 2008. Even though a dramatic mid-day bounce in Asian markets on Friday helped trim their weekly losses to 13%, the plunge was still the worst in more than 11 years.

Here’s what investors are saying about the momentous week that just ended, and their plans to recharge before next one begins:

‘Very Depressed’

Kiyoshi Ishigane, Tokyo-based chief strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co.:

“It was a horrible market,” he said. “Just looking at the charts made me very depressed.”

But he’s trying to stay positive. “Markets have shown tendency to kind of moderate after a 30% decline. There will be people thinking this is cheap enough.”

He’d be tempted to read the news over the weekend but plans on hopping by the bookstores in case there’s some reading material that could end up being useful.

Friday the 13th

Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG Asia Pte. in Singapore:

“Definitely been a busy week the way the market has turned out. Folks joked about Friday the 13th and it really was not funny this morning, but things looked to have improved a little.”

“The weekend will probably be a lot of reading, but I still do plan to head out to not-too-crowded places and show support for local F&B businesses among others.”

“I’ll read perhaps a little more on the credit side. We don’t cover that, but concerns have certainly brewed on that end, so it will be important to assess how material this would be for markets in the coming sessions.”

PlayStation

Paul Chew, Singapore head of research at Phillip Securities Pte.:

It was the busiest week since the first quarter of 2018 for Chew’s firm. “Industry volumes have improved.”

“Going to play Apex Legends (a shooter game) on PS4 over the weekend.”

Virus Updates

Sean Taylor, Asia Pacific chief investment officer of DWS in Hong Kong:

He will probably be busy monitoring news headlines on the virus outbreak and policy makers’ actions. “We have to follow this evolution of the virus where we don’t have much information.”

“We are looking for peak of virus. We have seen that in China. What we haven’t seen is the containment in Europe,” he said. “And we don’t know what will happen in the U.S., we have to follow these headlines carefully.”

“We are looking for the peak of the virus. We have seen that in China. What we haven’t seen is the containment in Europe,” he said. “And we don’t know what will happen in the U.S., we have to follow these headlines carefully.”

Also on the radar will be “what’s the Fed going to do? Will it cut another 50 basis points? What’s China going to do? When will it press the button on the infrastructure?”

Taylor is holding cash and waiting for a sentiment turnaround before bottom fishing. He said technology hardware stocks in Taiwan and South Korea are among those that will recover first once market sentiment stabilizes.

Reduce Risks

Kazuyuki Terao, Tokyo-based chief investment officer at Allianz Global Investors’ Japanese unit:

“My weekend will be about doing everything that reduces risk,” he said, referring to the virus outbreak.

“If infection numbers cool, markets will start recovering, but when that timing will be, is in question.”

“If this is about a financial crisis, you can pump in liquidity to calm markets. But in a situation like this, it’s difficult, without a vaccine.”

Working on Sunday

An Hyung-jin, chief executive officer at Seoul-based hedge fund Billionfold Asset Management Inc.

“I’ll probably buy some Korean consumer stocks on Monday, as South Korea and China are now seeing slowing number of new confirmed cases.”

“If people see the virus is slowing, their desire for spending money will explode, even before travel bans are lifted and flights are resumed.”

Consumer stocks including like Shinsegae International Inc., which are not heavily dependent on Chinese travelers can gain, according to him.

“I’ll definitely work on Sunday.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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