Global stock markets may be heading for their worst week since the once seen during the 2008 financial crisis as investors continued pulling out of risky assets over fears of coronavirus turning into a pandemic. Major indexes have suffered a decline that sent them more than 10 percent below their record highs.
On Friday morning, Asian markets replicated the plunge see in American stock futures. Among the biggest losers were Japanese stocks as the Nikkei 225 and Topix index fell over 4 percent.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were 100 points lower on Thursday night, pointing out to a lower opening on Friday morning in the US. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also moved in the same direction.
China's Shenzhen component was 4.44 percent on Friday, Shenzhen Composite slipped 4.38 percent and the Shanghai Composite was down 3.37 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 2.69 percent.
South Korea's Kospi and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 plunged by 3 percent.
Tracking global peers, Indian stock market indices declined for the sixth consecutive session on Friday. BSE's Sensex fell over 1,100 points to 38,601.67 and the NSE's Nifty 50 was almost 3 percent lower to below 11,300.
In recent days, the spread of coronavirus outside China, where the infection was first reported, has caused panic. The potential impact of the disease on global economic growth and corporate earnings have driven investors out of equities to safer assets like gold.
Hopes that the epidemic will be over and things will return to normal have been shattered as reports of new infections around the world have surpassed those in China.
The sharp drop in US markets comes after California Governor Newsom said the state is monitoring 8,400 people for coronavirus, a day after the health authorities had confirmed the first US coronavirus case of unknown origin in Northern California.
The reports indicated a possible "community spread" of the disease, creating a panic that the virus may be pandemic and the US may be the next to experience a sudden increase in cases.
In the last week, there has been a surge in infections and deaths from coronavirus in South Korea, Italy and Iran. South Korean carmaker Hyundai suspended production in out of its factories in the country after a worker was tested positive for coronavirus.