By Frances Yoon 

S&P futures declined on Wednesday, after U.S. stocks closed out their worst quarter since the global financial crisis.

In morning trading hours in Hong Kong, E-mini S&P 500 futures fell 1.1%. Global equity benchmarks were mixed, with the Nikkei 225 down 0.8% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng 0.5% lower. Australia's ASX 200 was up 2.3%.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell about 0.02 percentage point to 0.661%. Bond yields fall as prices rise.

"In the U.S., we're at the beginning of a downturn," said Steven Englander, global head of G10 foreign-exchange research and North America macro strategy at Standard Chartered Bank. "We're likely to see more unemployment, and the early bottom could come in May, but that is very speculative. For that to happen, we need a lot of good luck and serious implementation of economic and health-care policy."

Mr. Englander said stimulus packages were positive for the economy, and would help American employees get through the next two months but that there might be a need for "trillions more." On Tuesday, President Trump called for a new infrastructure-focused spending bill worth $2 trillion.

The Federal Reserve said Tuesday that it would launch a temporary lending facility that for the first time would allow foreign central banks to convert their holdings of Treasury securities into dollars, its new bid to alleviate strains in global markets.

Mr. Englander said the program would improve international access to dollar-based funding.

"Investors will take it seriously," he said.

In Hong Kong, shares in HSBC Holdings tumbled more than 7% to their lowest since 2009, while stock in rival Standard Chartered also fell. The two lenders, which both also have U.K. listings, were among four banks that said on Tuesday they would cancel unpaid 2019 dividends at the Bank of England's request.

The S&P 500 dropped 1.6% on Tuesday, taking its year-to-date losses to 20%, the biggest quarterly decline since 2008. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.8%. It slid 23% over the quarter, its worst showing since 1987.

Write to Frances Yoon at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 01, 2020 00:20 ET (04:20 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.