Markets

European stocks fall 12% on the week as coronavirus grips markets

Key Points
  • European stocks entered correction territory on Thursday, falling 10% below the record highs seen on Feb. 19 last year, as the rapid spread of the coronavirus beyond China caused global markets to nosedive.
  • First cases were reported on Friday in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand and Nigeria, Africa's most populous country.

European stocks extended a historic week of losses on Friday as the coronavirus outbreak continued to pummel global markets into correction territory.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed 3.8% lower as markets around the world tanked. The benchmark lost approximately 12.7% for the week, its worst since October 2008 at the height of the global financial crisis.

Basic resources dropped 4.6% to lead losses as all sectors and major bourses traded sharply in the red. Britain's FTSE 100 lost 3.7% on Friday, France's CAC 40 index was down 4% and Germany's DAX fell 4.5%.

European stocks entered correction territory on Thursday, falling 10% below the record highs seen on Feb. 19 last year, as the rapid spread of the coronavirus beyond China caused global markets to nosedive.

Seven major Asia-Pacific markets have also fallen into correction territory while stateside, the Dow plunged another 1,000 points on Friday. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq each took just six days to fall from record highs into correction territory.

Global stocks are also set for their worst week since the financial crisis in 2008, with the global MSCI ACWI index down 9%.

By market close in Europe on Friday, there were more than 83,700 confirmed cases of the coronavirus globally, with a death toll of at least 2,859. First cases were reported on Friday in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand and Nigeria, Africa's most populous country.

In corporate news, Thyssenkrupp agreed to sell its elevators division to a consortium of Advent, Cinven and Germany's RAG foundation in a 17.2 billion euro ($18.7 billion) deal, the company announced late on Thursday.

Thyssenkrupp shares climbed initially but dropped 5.6% in afternoon trade after CEO Martina Merz ruled out an extraordinary dividend and said the proceeds will be used to restructure or sell remaining businesses.

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Stocks on the move

Rolls-Royce was the highest performing individual stock in the Stoxx 600 on Friday, climbing 4% after a strong earnings report.

British Airways parent IAG slipped 9% after warning of an expected hit to earnings from the coronavirus outbreak.

At the bottom of the European benchmark, Argenx fell 7% and Lagardere slid 9.2% after its full-year results.