Wires

UPDATE 1-European stock index futures fall as virus fears build

(Adds comments, details; updates prices)

March 16 (Reuters) - European stock index futures slumped more than 4% on Monday as the coronavirus pandemic raged through much of Europe, with dramatic monetary easing by global central banks failing to reassure investors about its growing economic damage.

Euro Stoxx 50 futures fell 5.4% to their lowest since 2012, while German DAX futures shed 5.6%.

French and Spanish futures slumped 6% and 5.2%, respectively, as the two countries joined Italy in enforcing a national lockdown.

"The issue for investors is that the virus' economic impact is still not known - if this is a one-month event or a one-year event, and how deep the cutback in consumer spending is going to be," said Rick Meckler, a partner at Cherry Lane Investments in New Vernon, New Jersey.

In an emergency meeting on Sunday, the U.S. Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to near zero and pledged hundreds of billions of dollars in asset purchases, saying the epidemic was having a "profound" impact on the economy.

Central banks in Australia and New Zealand followed with their own measures, but could not stem a slide in global stocks. S&P 500 futures tumbled 4.77% to their daily down limit shortly after resuming trading on Sunday night.

Wall Street had staged a furious rally on Friday following its steepest losses in three decades as U.S. President Donald Trump declared a national emergency and earmarked $50 billion in federal aid to fight the disease.

But latest economic data from China showing factory production plunging at its sharpest pace in 30 years re-ignited fears of a global recession as the pandemic paralyses supply chains and crushes business sentiment.

All eyes will now be on a Group of Seven teleconference at 1400 GMT to discuss the health crisis. (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)