FROM THE GLOBAL CIO OFFICE - By Candice Bangsund, Vice President and Portfolio Manager, Global Asset Allocation
Investor anxiety morphed into panic in February. Financial markets were rattled by the latest headlines around the novel coronavirus, with investors attempting to gauge the severity of the widening epidemic and the implications for global growth. While the outbreak has slowly been abating in China and businesses have gradually resumed operations, news that the deadly virus has spread outside of China (to Korea, Japan, Iran and Italy) has stoked fears of a wider pandemic and a more pronounced global economic slowdown. Risk appetite dwindled in response, with the gloomy mood manifesting itself and sending shockwaves through the global marketplace.