Worldwide stocks plummet

Markets in turmoil as Trump bans European travel to halt virus

Donald Trump

Action plan: Donald Trump

Markets suffered another bloodbath as Donald Trump announced a travel ban on Europe and threw worldwide business plans into chaos.

The US President announced a series of measures to help prop up companies but his suspension of travel from 26 European countries for 30 days sewed seeds of confusion. UK and Republic of Ireland travellers will still be allowed free access, adding to the muddle.

Investors, already spooked after the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, were sufficiently rattled by the statement to embark on a further round of selling.

The FTSE 100 closed down 10.87% or 639.04 points at 5,237.48, its second worst once day fall.

Travel, hospitality and retail companies were among the biggest losers but investors have dumped stocks across all sectors.

Earlier in the session, shares in the Restaurant Group, which owns Wagamama and Frankie and Benny’s, plunged by almost a third (30%). holiday company Tui was down almost 20%, PPHE Hotel group by 22.4%, while Whitbread, owner of Premier Inn, fell 16.8% .

Trading on Wall Street was halted minutes after the opening bell as the S&P 500 slid 7% and triggered a 15-minute cutout. The indexes are now more than 24% below their intraday record highs hit in February.

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