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European stocks dive 3% as coronavirus raises recession fears

European shares sank between 2% and 3% this morning as investors feared a global recession is on the horizon with the coronavirus spreading across the world.

Four more countries – including Northern Ireland – reported their first cases of coronavirus, pushing the number of countries outside China, the source of the outbreak with infections, to 55. 

The death toll in Italy, Europe’s worst-hit country, rose to 17 and the number of people infected rose by more than 200 to 655.

Among the major sectors, miners, travel and leisure stocks and technology were the biggest decliners.

Shares in London were down 2.6% in early trade, while the Paris market lost 2.7% and the shares in Frankfurt slumped 3.3%.

The Dublin market was also weaker this morning, falling by 2.4% after losses of 3.8% yesterday.

Ryanair was one of the big fallers today, dropping another 1.7%, while CRH was down 3.2% and Glenveagh Properties lost 2.2% after they reported their annual results today.

Earlier in Asian trade, shares in Tokyo closed 3% lower while the Hong Kong market was down 2.4%.

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