Investors are grappling with the huge uncertainty caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic. The human and economic impact has been dramatic, both in its magnitude and in its velocity.
The lockdown is driving a deep economic downturn, corporate earnings are evaporating, volatility is at record levels, unemployment is spiking and PMIs collapsing.
It is not all gloom, however, and with every government, central bank and corporate trying to fight the virus, the downturn could be short-lived.
There are some signs that containment is working in the West, while in the East businesses are re-opening.
Meanwhile, the unprecedented governmental support to individuals and businesses allied to substantial fiscal and monetary stimulus should help support the region and limit the number of job losses.
This is important because not only does job retention cushion the decline in output, it also supports a faster recovery for when life returns to normal.
In the meantime, the demand collapse will be too much for many weaker companies and the inevitable shake out will drive market share gains for the survivors.
With European equities attractively valued compared to history, it is creating some compelling opportunities to invest in long-term winners.
It would not be Europe without some political friction between EU member states as to how best to tackle this crisis.
The Northern European nations appear resistant to a collaborative approach that supports the weaker, fearing it would prove unpopular domestically. Once again, EU cohesion is under challenge.
The case for European equities rests on time horizons. The next few months will be tough, entire industries may need government support, economic data will be ugly, optimism will be scarce. Some may choose to wait.
However, for those with a longer-term view, history tells us these are the times to be brave, to buy a little more or to simply hold on.
As waiting for the bottom often means missing out completely.
Martin Todd is portfolio manager, international at Federated Hermes
• Cheap versus history; the recession may be sharp, but also short
• 'Good' companies to emerge stronger post the crisis
• A prolonged lockdown is negative for all risk assets
• Renewed eurozone political friction - divergent views on how to respond to the crisis