Europe plunges at close, FTSE hits nearly 8-year low

Thursday, 12. March 2020 17:30

Stocks on European markets plummeted at the closing bell on Thursday with FTSE 100 marking its weakest level since 2012 while DAX in Frankfurt closed at its lowest since 2014. The CAC 40 in Paris sank to four-year low as each of the major European indexes lost nearly or more than 10% at the end of the session, marking the worse one-day drop ever.

The European Central Bank (ECB) decided to keep its interest rates unchanged, despite a "major shock" to economic growth in the euro area that was caused by the coronavirus outbreak, as ECB's Governor Christine Legarde claimed.

The coronavirus remained in investors' focus as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Europe surpassed 20,000. The United States banned all travel from Europe for 30 days amid the outbreak with the European Union disapproving "unilateral decision" by the White House that was made without consulting the bloc.

The DAX closed the session with losses as high as 11.43%, slipping to its lowest level at close since 2014 as Deutsche Bank fell over 18%. At the same time, the CAC 40 plunged 11.44% With Renault leading the losses as it dropped over 20%. The FTSE 100 sank 9.81%, closing at its weakest in nearly eight years as Anglo American PLC slipped over 18%. The DJ EURO STOXX index slumped 12.40% at the closing bell, hitting a seven-year low driven by Airbus' decrease of over 17%.

The euro lost 1.77% against the greenback, going for 1.10700 at 5:29 pm CET.

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