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European markets tumble as global health crisis takes toll on economy

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March 23, 2020

Stock markets around the world are starting the week mostly lower as the spread of the coronavirus continues to drag down the global economy.

The FTSE index is down over four percent at the start of trading in London, while Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC have plummeted almost five percent. The pan-European Stoxx 600 dropped 4.5 percent at the opening bell on Monday, with industrials nosediving six percent to lead the losses.

Despite governments pumping trillions into their economies, European markets have plunged over 30 percent over the last 30 days as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to crash the global economy.

The slide in European stocks follows a sharp market drop in Asia Pacific on Monday. In India, the Nifty 50 plunged more than eleven percent, while the Straits Times index in Singapore slid over seven percent. Stocks in mainland China were also in the red, with the Shanghai Composite down over three percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is trading nearly five percent lower.

Governments around the world have launched massive aid packages to support businesses and workers to get through the crisis, with the US yet to agree an economic stimulus plan. A fiscal stimulus bill failed a key procedural Senate vote on Sunday as Democrats have warned the measure was not enough to help workers and was too focused on bailing out companies. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier pointed out she was not on board with the Republican-version of the stimulus plan, saying: “From my standpoint, we’re apart.”

“Investors are recoiling in horror this morning” at the latest statistics, said Stephen Innes, global chief markets strategist at AxiCorp. “The rapid spread has triggered unprecedented draconian containment measures. All the while, Congress is dillydallying on an aid plan,” he wrote in a research note seen by CNN.

Fears over the economic impact of the outbreak continue to weigh heavily on investor sentiment as countries across the world battle against the disease. There are now over 339,000 confirmed cases worldwide and more than 14,000 deaths.

This article was posted: Monday, March 23, 2020 at 6:37 am

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