Traders shun risky assets as new lockdowns loom; stocks, oil tumble

(Reuters) – Stocks across the world hit their lowest in seven weeks and other risk assets also sold off on Monday on concerns over renewed lockdown measures in Europe and Britain, as well as the United States’ inability to agree on fiscal stimulus that would support millions of unemployed.

Oil prices fell more than 3%, the dollar rose against a basket of peers and an index of emerging market currencies fell by the most in six months. The MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS, which tracks shares in 49 countries, ended at its lowest since Aug. 3.

Britain is considering a second national lockdown as new cases rise by at least 6,000 per day while Denmark, Greece and Spain have introduced new restrictions on activity. Germany’s health minister said rising new infections in countries like France, Austria and the Netherlands are worrying.

Adding to the market’s nervousness, the U.S. presidential campaign was upended late Friday after U.S. Supreme Court Justice and liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. President Donald Trump said he would announce his candidate to replace her, which requires Senate confirmation, by the end of this week.

Ginsburg’s death also decreases the chances of Congress passing another stimulus package to help lift the domestic economy.