Financial markets look set for another troubled week, as stocks in Europe and Asia tumbled on Monday and investors looked for safe places to park their money.

Major indexes in Germany, Britain and France were 2 to 3 percent lower in morning trading, most Asian markets closed down, and futures markets signaled that Wall Street would fall when trading begins.

Investors were reacting in part to a political stalemate in the United States. Senate Democrats on Sunday blocked action on an emerging deal to prop up the American economy, halting the progress of a nearly $2 trillion government rescue package. They contended that the legislation failed to adequately protect workers or impose strict enough restrictions on bailed-out businesses.

Investors signaled their skittishness by putting money in places generally considered safe. The price of the 10-year Treasury bond rose, sending yields lower. Gold futures also rose. Oil prices were slightly down, suggesting investors see little demand for fuel.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Australian stocks led the tumble with a 5.6 percent drop. In South Korea, the Kospi index fell 5.3 percent. Hong Kong shares were down 4.9 percent late in the trading day. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 3.1 percent.

SoftBank on Monday announced that it will sell down $41 billion in assets as it seeks to buy up its own shares, which have dropped precipitously in the last month amid investor concerns about the coronavirus’s impact on its holdings in top tech companies like Uber.

SoftBank, which controls a $100 billion tech investment fund, has bet heavily on tech companies — many offering services such as ride-sharing and hotel booking — that have seen their share prices plummet as consumers stay home amid the pandemic.

In a statement on Monday, SoftBank said it would use 2 trillion yen from the sale of its assets to purchase its own shares. The amount is on top of a 500 billion yen buyback announced earlier this month.

Since mid-February, the company’s share price have dropped by more than 50 percent.

India’s stock market plunged about 10 percent at the market’s open on Monday, as investors reacted to the widespread coronavirus lockdowns ordered in many states and cities over the weekend.

The sudden fall triggered circuit breakers that imposed a temporary halt on trading. When trading resumed, major indexes continued falling, and by late morning, they were down about 11 percent.

The country’s currency, the rupee, also fell to an all-time low, with $1 worth about 76 rupees, compared to about 72 rupees in early January.

While India has lagged much of the world in the known spread of coronavirus infections, the number of official cases has begun rising sharply in the last few days, especially in densely populated urban areas like Mumbai, the country’s financial capital. On Monday morning, the government said there were 415 confirmed cases.

Commerce in India has ground to a near halt over the past few days. Over the weekend, the country stopped all long-distance passenger train service, and many cities, including Mumbai and the national capital of New Delhi, have shut down all local public transportation. Most businesses have been ordered to close until at least the end of the month.

On Thursday morning, Chuck Robbins, the chief executive of Cisco, signed on to a companywide video conference from his home office in Silicon Valley. The connection was stable, but the quality was not great.

“I tell you,” he said in an earlier interview, “this whole teleworking thing — as much as we sell it to our customers, I’m not sure I want to do it 100 percent of the time.”

As the coronavirus sweeps the globe, even chief executives — who normally flit from meetings to conferences in chauffeured SUVs and private jets — have been confined to spare rooms.

From there, they are working to keep their business afloat as the stock market plummets; managing supply chains upended by travel restrictions and labor shortages; and trying to keep their employees healthy and sane.


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