Fears of a second wave in the US are thought to have contributed to the downturns.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 6.9 percent, the S&P 500 lost 5.89 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.27 percent.
Europe’s broad FTSEurofirst 300 index went down 4.11 percent whilst Singapore’s Straits Times Index went down 3.4 percent.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei went down 2.8 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 2.3 percent, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.8 percent, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index plunged 3.1 percent whilst South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.9 percent.
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5.40am update: Steve Mnuchin warning
Fears of a second coronavirus wave are thought to have contributed to Thursday’s fall in the markets.
But US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told CNBC that the country could not shut down the economy again if a second wave hit: “We can’t shut down the economy again. I think we have learned that if you shut down the economy you’re going to create more damage, and not just economic damage.
“There are other areas of medical problems and everything else that gets put on hold.
“I’d say the good news is plenty of hospital capacity, a lot of progress on testing. I think we’re over 20 million people that have been tested and will continue to test people and that was something that was the big problem and the reason why the president needed to close down parts of the economy.
“We have the fed program, we have Main Street, which is going to be now up and running, and we’re prepared to go back to Congress for more money to support the American workers. We’re going to get everybody back to work. That’s my number one job working with the president.”