European shares tumble as more coronavirus impacts revealed
European shares fell this morning in their first trading session of the quarter, as dismal economic data from Asia underpinned the ongoing damage from the coronavirus pandemic and fanned fears of a deep global recession.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 2.4% in opening trade.
It ending with its worst quarter in 18 years yesterday as lockdown measures to contain the virus outbreak upended business activity, raising the threat of corporate defaults and mass layoffs.
Figures today showed factory activity contracting across most of Asia in March as the outbreak paralysed supply chains, with sharp falls in export power-houses Japan and South Korea overshadowing a modest improvement in China.
London’s FTSE 100 index slumped 3.7% in opening trade as a number of UK banks joined European peers in suspending dividend payments to shore up liquidity, while the Frankfurt DAX slid 3% and the Paris CAC 40 lost 3.2%.
Dublin’s ISEQ index was opened with heavy losses this morning, falling by 3.4%.
Earlier in Asian trade, Tokyo’s Nikkei index tumbled 4.5%, in line with an Asia-wide sell-off fuelled by concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.
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