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Morning Note: Wallstreet Tumbles, Frontier Markets Rally

Wall Street tumbled for a second straight day on Tuesday as a collapse in U.S. oil prices and glum forecasts by companies worsened fears of a deep economic downturn.

All 11 S&P 500 sector indexes fell 1.6% or more, with energy .SPNY sliding for the seventh time in eight sessions a day after the WTI contract CLc1 crashed below zero as oil traders ran out of storage for May deliveries.With the collapse spilling into June futures contracts, equity investors became wary of the extent of the economic damage from sweeping lock-down measures that have halted business activity and sparked millions of layoffs.

Most Asian stocks retreated on low volumes after a risk-off session on Wall Street, with investors monitoring continued volatility in energy markets and further signs that companies are finding it hard to provide outlooks. Oil in London tumbled to the lowest in more than 18 years.

Shares fell from Sydney to Hong Kong though declines were shallower than those in the U.S. on Tuesday. Equities in Shanghai slipped, while European stock futures advanced. S&P 500 contracts were little changed after the gauge closed down more than 3%, with investors shrugging off a deal reached by the White House and congressional leaders on fresh spending to combat the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Brent crude oil prices tumbled as the global benchmark was sucked into the rout that sent U.S. futures below zero for the first time ever this week. The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasuries was steady after dropping below 0.6%.

Frontier markets had a good day in turn as global Investors looked out to them for hedging against their markets. Turnover of the Nairobi Securities exchange hit past the 1 Billion mark for the first time this month.  Foreign investors maintained a net sellers position in most of the stocks but were also heavy net buyers on Safaricom Plc.

The same was for the Indian Markets today as Facebook Inc announced it was buying a 9.9% stake in Indian communications firm Reliance Jigo.