Rout resumes as more nations self-isolate against virus

Global financial markets took another hammering on Monday (March 23)

as a wave of national coronavirus lockdowns kicked in.

The rising death toll from the pandemic threatens to overwhelm policymakers' frantic efforts to cushion what is likely to be a deep global recession.

European stocks dropped over 4.5% as they reopened

stuck near seven-year lows

Calls continued for the euro zone's 19 governments to issue the bloc's first joint bonds

in a bid to get the region through the economic crush of the virus lockdowns.

Commodity markets saw heavy selling as the global death toll from the virus passed 14,000.

Investors tried to take cover in ultra-safe government bonds and in the Japanese yen in currency markets

But with so much uncertainty about when any semblance of normality might return there were few places to really hide.

In Asian trade, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 5.4%,

New Zealand's market shed a record 10% as the government closed all non-essential businesses.

Japan's Nikkei rose 2.0% though on expectations of more aggressive asset buying by the Bank of Japan.

Globally, analysts are dreading data on weekly U.S. jobless claims due on Thursday

forecasts suggest they could balloon by more than a million.

U.S. stocks have fallen more than 30% from their mid-February peak