Swine Flu and stock markets

The world need not have the recent outbreak of swine flu to sabotage the global economic recovery. This is unfortunate.


When Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) affected the Asian region in 2003, Singapore experienced a short-lived recession over the duration of SARS outbreak. Singapore equities lost values in 2003 that year.


Now the H1N1 virus (named loosely as the swine flu) originating from Mexico is looking to infect people in Mexico and travelers who came in contact with this virus. There is now this fear or apprehension of traveling to affected countries, which include Mexico, US, Canada, parts of Europe.  


This is troubling. The pandemic alert level set by World Health Organisation (WHO) is now at Stage 4 of a 6-level alert system. The public hospitals in Singapore have taken precautions to prevent transmission of virus should it hits our shore.


During SARS in 2003, the Straits Times Index (STI) touched a low of 1,213 points on 10 March. Will this swine flu turn out to be like SARS when fears grip the affected nations and caused the stock markets to dip? It is wise to watch the development and hope that containment of this virus can be quick.


Written on 4/29/2009 9:45 AM


Copyright © 2009, the author known as LKT in Singapore.


The material presented is intended to be general and written in layman’s language as much as it is possible. The author shall not be liable for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of material written. Please seek professional advice from your financial advisor or financial institutions on material written covering financial matters.

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