US stocks plunged on Friday as the US government faced an unprecedented shortage of vaccines.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 1.2 percent, the S&P 500 was down 0.9 percent and the Nasdaq composite dropped 0.4 percent.
Analysts said the stock market downturn was the result of the shortage of some of the world’s most widely used vaccines.
“The US government is facing an unprecedented vaccine shortage, with the US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention having difficulty issuing vaccines, according to a government report.
The government has been working on a solution to the vaccine shortage that is expected to be finalized later this month.
The shortage has been in place since December and it is expected that the US will have to import more vaccines by the end of the year,” said David Wasserstrom, head of research at Morningstar.”
This is the first time the US has seen a vaccine shortage in a long time, and the number of vaccines available for distribution are being rapidly reduced,” he added.
Analytics said the vaccine shortages were a major factor behind the global economic slump, which is expected this year to be the worst since the global financial crisis in 2008.
The US stock market had closed up more than 6 percent on Friday and the Dow Jones index ended down 1 percent.
In Europe, the FTSE 100 index ended 1.7 percent lower, while the DAX was down 1% and the MSCI Europe index fell 0.6 percent.
Germany’s DAX dropped 1.5 percent and France’s CAC 40 dropped 1 percent, while Spain’s IBEX lost 0.5%.
Britain’s FTSe was down 2.4%.
In the US, the Dow fell 6.8 percent, adding to the 7.4% decline it experienced earlier in the day.
The S&p 500 was off 5.5 points, or 0.3 percent, at 2,063.27, while stocks in tech-heavy tech stocks such as Facebook and Google fell 4.7% and 4.4%, respectively.
The Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.2%, or 0,8 percent.