European markets shaky as coronavirus outbreak continues

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European markets are poised to open lower Monday as the coronavirus outbreak continues to take its toll on the international community and financial markets.

London’s FTSE index is seen opening 131 points lower at 4,881, Germany’s DAX is expected to open 496 points lower at 8,362 and France’s CAC is seen 208 points lower at 3,804, according to IG, while Italy’s FTSE MIB is seen 699 points lower at 14,609.

Global financial markets start the week as countries around the world continue to wage battle against the coronavirus, of which there are now over 339,000 confirmed cases worldwide, according to data collated by Johns Hopkins University. The virus has now caused over 14,000 deaths. 

Governments around the world have launched massive aid packages to help businesses and workers to get through the crisis but the U.S. is yet to agree an economic stimulus plan.

A fiscal stimulus bill failed a key procedural Senate vote Sunday as Democrats warned the measure did not do enough to help workers and too much to bail out companies. Earlier, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had signaled she was not on board with the Republican-version of the stimulus plan, saying: “From my standpoint, we’re apart.” 

U.S. stock futures plunged again on Sunday night as Wall Street awaited action from Washington.

As of 11:25 p.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell more than 600 points, pointing to a Monday opening loss of around 637 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures also pointed to losses at the Monday open.

On Monday, stocks in Asia Pacific saw sharp drops in morning trade as fears over the economic impact of the global coronavirus outbreak continue to weigh heavily on investor sentiment.

In India, the Nifty 50 dropped 9.09% while the Straits Times Index in Singapore plunged 7.3%.

In Europe Monday, the euro zone releases its latest consumer confidence data for March; there are no major earnings reports.

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