In another disastrously record-setting day on the JSE, banking shares and miners were left bleeding as panic selling intensified.
The JSE's all share index ended the day 7.2% lower on 38 604 points. Wednesday's session counts among it top 15 worst days since 1978.
Markets were bleeding across the world, with Wall Street down more than 5% at the open. The rand was last trading at R17.14/$ – losing almost 4% on the day. Investors were fleeing risky assets to take shelter in the dollar. The pound fell to its worst level in 35 years against the dollar.
The oil price plummeted 9% to $27.77 a barrel, with Sasol down another 7% to R34.
But the financial sector took the biggest hit, as investors worried about the impact of a stalling economy and rocketing bad debts during the coronavirus crisis.
Capitec ended the day 28% lower at R800. The share has now almost halved since last year. The market is valuing Capitec at R93.5 billion. Since 19 December, Capitec has lost R79 billion of its value.
Capitec was trading at more expensive levels than other banks and discounted strong growth, which is now under threat, an investment analyst told Fin24.
FirstRand (-14%) and Standard Bank (-13%) both slumped, while PSG dropped 26% of its value and Sanlam was down 12% to R51.75. But Ninety One - previously Investec Asset Management - gained almost 3% to R32.
Platinum shares were also decimated amid concerns about the global economy, with Impats down another 24%. Anglo lost 12%. Property group Redefine dropped 20%, while Nepi Rockcastle was down 31%.
Wall Street stocks resumed their downward slide as the economic toll mounts from the rapid near-shutdown of key industrial and services sectors.
About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 20 040.66, down around 1 200 points or 5.6%.
The broad-based S&P 500 slumped 5.4 percent to 2,392.27, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 4.6% to 6 997.10.
The dreary open puts at risk nearly all of the gains from Tuesday, a rare up day in a month that has seen US stocks suffer some of their worst sessions in history and ended the 11-year "bull market".
Officials in Washington are discussing massive stimulus packages of $1 trillion or more, including immediate cash funds sent to American taxpayers.
But there are still grave doubts about the significant hit to US employment in the coming months following significant shutdowns in the retail, hospitality and airline industry.