Gloom as shares face worst week since financial crisis

Global stock markets are suffering their worst week since the financial crisis of 2008.

The FTSE 100 opened 2.57 per cent down on Friday as fears regarding the coronavirus continue to cause uncertainty.

France’s Cax 40 plunged by a further 2.8 per cent while the Germany Dax index fell by around 3.3 per cent.

Spanish and Italian indices have seen similar drops with the pan-European Stoxx 600 down around 2.7 per cent.

Asian markets also reacted badly to news that the outbreak is spreading across Europe and unsettling investors.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index fell 3.7% on Friday – and is down more than 9% for this week

And Australia’s main shares index, the ASX200, fell by more than 3.3%, also suffering its biggest fall since the financial crisis of 2008.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones index had fallen almost 1,200 points on Thursday – its biggest ever daily points-drop.

The news of more coronavirus cases, notably in Italy, has raised concerns of a much larger economic impact than previously expected.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney said the UK should prepare itself. He told Sky News that disruption to supply chains could force a downgrade with the global impact of the virus spilling into Britain.

“We’re not picking that up yet at all in the European and UK economic indicators, but if the world is slower than the UK, a very open economy, will have an impact,” he said.

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