Global markets resume panic sell-off as coronavirus outbreak worsens – Skynews

Rattled global stock markets have ended another brutal week as the worsening coronavirus outbreak fuelled fears of an extended economic slowdown.

The increase comes as a second person in the UK is feared to have died from coronavirus.

Globally, the number of confirmed and suspected cases passed 100,000, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the outbreak. It says there have been more than 3,400 deaths.

It saw stocks tumble into the red across Europe, with Germany’s DAX sliding 3.5% and France’s CAC 40 falling 3.7%.

Meanwhile, the US Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 800 points – 2.6% – at the open, while other major indexes like the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also suffered declines.

Businesses involved in almost any public activity such as cinemas, hotels, airlines and amusement parks, have lost billions in value as investors seek out safer assets like government bonds, despite the minimal return offered.

Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex, said: “With no signs of the outbreak slowing down… investors remain gripped with a near unshakeable panic, the week’s various central bank rate cuts only serving to reinforce the seriousness of the situation.”

Coronavirus: How worried should we be?

Coronavirus: How worried should we be?

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, added that investors are worried about the possibility of a global recession caused by coronavirus.

He said: “Non-stop news headlines about the spread of coronavirus has caused investors to be very concerned about a global recession.

“This tension is likely to remain front and centre until we get some evidence that the virus can be contained.”

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Hotel and travel stocks were once again among the worst hit in the latest leg of the coronavirus sell-off, with Holiday Inn owner InterContinental Hotels and Premier Inn group Whitbread seeing falls on London’s bluechip index.

Tour operator Tui was 3% lower, with cruise ship giant Carnival tumbling 5% as demand for bookings slumps amid a wave of cancellations from worried holidaymakers.

Carnival’s woes were compounded by news of another cruise liner, the Grand Princess, being stranded off San Francisco.

Airlines have also been badly impacted, with the collapse of Flybe raising fears that other vulnerable players may go bust in the fallout from coronavirus.

In London, British Airways owner International Airlines Group and low-cost rival easyJet both saw shares drop.

Blue chip oil giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell were also suffering share losses – falling nearly 4% each – as the cost of crude extended recent declines, with Brent down another 4% at just under $48 a barrel.

From Skynews

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