European stocks slide again on pandemic fears

Reuters February 27 | Updated on February 27, 2020 Published on February 27, 2020

Governments have ramped up measures to battle a looming global pandemic

European shares fell again on Thursday, with travel stocks taking the biggest knock, as a jump in new coronavirus cases outside of China deepened fears of a pandemic that could dent global growth.

Multiple blue-chip companies issued profit warnings, with Standard Chartered tumbling 3.4 per cent after the Asia-focused bank said that a key earnings target would take longer to meet as the epidemic adds to headwinds in its main markets of China and Hong Kong.

The world's largest beer maker, Anheuser-Busch InBev , dropped 5.6 per cent after forecasting muted growth in 2020 due in part to the outbreak.

Governments ramped up measures to battle a looming global pandemic as the number of infections outside China for the first time surpassed those within the country.

The pan-regional STOXX 600 index fell 2.2 per cent by 0817 GMT, bracing for its worst week since January 2016 when fears about a slowing Chinese economy and a rout in oil prices sent global markets in a tailspin.

Travel & leisure stocks slumped 3.3 per cent, its sixth straight session of losses, as airlines and hotel groups dropped on concerns over demand.

Weak earnings reports also dampened the mood. Advertising major WPP slid 13.6 per cent after saying it would target flat organic growth and profit margin in 2020. Shares in rival Publicis Groupe SA fell 3.3 per cent.

Published on February 27, 2020
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