Britain faces a 'recession' amid first coronavirus death on UK soil

First coronavirus death on UK soil sends markets in panic with FTSE 100 opening 1.85% down at 6,581 – wiping off gains made during the week

  • London’s FTSE 100 index of major companies loses 124 points or 1.85% to 6,581 
  • Frankfurt’s DAX 30 sheds 1.8% to 11,735 and Paris CAC 40 drops 1.8% to 5,264
  • Milan’s major stock index the FTSE-Mib also goes down 3.1% to 20,890 points 
  • Hong Kong and Shanghai stocks also tanked overnight amid economic fears

European stock markets including the FTSE 100 sank further this morning as traders feared that the coronavirus crisis could plunge Britain into recession.

London’s benchmark index of major companies lost 124 points or 1.85 per cent to 6,581 today after Britain recorded its first death from the infection.

It also comes as a top investment bank warned coronavirus could push the UK to the brink of recession in the coming months. 

In the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 shed 1.8 per cent to 11,735 points and the Paris CAC 40 dropped 1.8 per cent to 5,264, compared with yesterday’s closing levels.

TODAY: London’s FTSE 100 of major companies lost 124 points or 1.85 per cent to 6,581 today

THIS WEEK: The FTSE fell this morning, wiping out the gains it had seen so far this week

PAST FORTNIGHT: The FTSE has plunged since the virus sparked a worldwide rout last week

Meanwhile Milan’s major stock index the FTSE-Mib went down 3.1 per cent to 20,890 points as Italy continues to face the biggest outbreak in Europe so far.

In Asia, Hong Kong and Shanghai stocks also tanked as the coronavirus crisis overshadows government and central bank moves to limit the economic impact.

The fall for the FTSE 100 erased the index’s gains from earlier this week, with export-heavy companies now having lost more than £175million in value since the epidemic sparked a worldwide rout last week.

Cruise operator Carnival dropped 4.2 per cent to its lowest level since 2012, a day after its Grand Princess ocean liner was barred from returning to its home port of San Francisco on virus fears.

A data panel shows the results of Spanish index Ibex 35 at the stock market in Madrid today

A pedestrian walks past a board displaying a share price of the Tokyo Stock Exchange today

Britain said an older person with underlying health problems had succumbed to the flu-like virus yesterday, while the number of infections jumped to 115.

In company news, drug maker AstraZeneca fell 1 per cent after it said its treatment for a form of bladder cancer failed to meet the main goal of improving overall survival in patients in a late-stage study.

Top investment bank Goldman Sachs analysts has warned coronavirus could push the UK to the brink of recession in the coming months.

They say the outbreak will cause a ‘substantial’ near-term hit to economic growth, decimating the tourism industry and slashing leisure spending as Britons stay indoors.

A woman walks by an electronic screen with the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong yesterday

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street yesterday

It will cause a headache for new Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who is due to present his first Budget next week.

But analyst Sven Jari Stehn said: ‘The Budget may now focus more on measures to safeguard public health than a broad-based expansion of spending.’

Goldman Sachs expects the economy to be flat in the first three months of 2020 and to contract by 0.2 per cent between April and June.

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