Stock markets across the globe are suffering their worst week since the global financial crisis of 2008 as fears over the impact of the coronavirus continue to grip investors.
Markets in Europe fell sharply on Friday morning, with London’s FTSE 100 index sinking more than 3%.
Asian markets saw more big falls, while in the US, the Dow Jones recorded its biggest daily points drop on Thursday.
Investors are worried the coronavirus impact could spark a global recession.
The news of more coronavirus cases, notably in Italy, has raised concerns of a much larger economic impact than previously expected.
“Markets were too optimistic and now may be too pessimistic,” said Iris Pang, Greater China economist at ING.
Mayank Mishra, a strategist at Standard Chartered Bank, added: “Previously the market had taken some comfort in the falling infection rates in China as a result of containment measures put in place earlier.
“But the spread of the coronavirus infection outside China, with clusters emerging in South Korea, Italy and Japan, has increased concerns significantly.”
All the main European share indexes saw big falls as trading got under way on Friday, with Germany’s Dax index opening down 3.6% and France’s Cac 40 index falling 3.1%.
Earlier in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 3.7%, meaning it is down more than 9% for this week.
Australia’s main share index, the ASX200, fell by more than 3.3% on Friday, also suffering its biggest fall since the financial crisis of 2008.
Indian stock markets also fell heavily on Friday, with the Nifty 50 and Sensex indices both down by around 3%.
Asian stock markets reacted badly when the outbreak emerged in China, but had stabilised – until now. China’s Shanghai Composite index fell 3.7% on Friday.
Source – BBC News