Global stock exchanges suffered historic crashes as coronavirus panic gripped the financial world.
The French CAC40 plunged 12.28% on Thursday, the biggest fall in its history. The UK’s FTSE, meanwhile, finished with a 9.81% drop, its worst day since October 1987.
The Dow Jones also had its worst day since 1987, plunging more than 10%.
And the European stocks index ended the day with its biggest loss on record. The Stoxx Europe 600 index, which measures major stocks across the region, fell 11.5%, eclipsing the 8.5% drop during the 1987 stock market crash.
Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 10.9%, its worst loss since 1987. Germany’s DAX plunged 12.2%, which is more than it lost after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. France’s CAC 40 12.3% and Italy’s FTSE MIB a massive 16.9%.
Investors worried about a US travel ban imposed by US President Donald Trump that covers much of Europe and could presage tougher government limits on business activity in order to clamp down on the virus outbreak.
Meanwhile, the EU has warned healthcare systems across Europe are at “high” risk of being overwhelmed by coronavirus, as the death toll in Italy surged past 1,000.
Elsewhere in the world:
- Travel stocks were among the hardest hit. Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean Cruises both lost roughly a quarter of their value. Another drop for United Airlines put its loss for the year at more than 50%.
- Oil prices continued to fall, with benchmark US down to $31 per barrel.
- In Asia, stocks in Thailand and the Philippines fell so fast that trading was temporarily halted. Japan’s Nikkei 225 sank 4.4% to its lowest close in four years, and South Korea’s market lost 3.9%.