Europe’s main equity markets plunged at the open on Monday, mirroring losses elsewhere on investor panic over the deadly coronavirus.
In initial trades, London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index of major blue-chip companies sank 1.6 per cent to 7,468.72 points compared with the close on Friday.
In the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index also lost 1.6 per cent to 13,359.03 points and the Paris CAC 40 dived 1.7 per cent to 5,923.36.
“Market participants in Europe have grave concerns about coronavirus as the death toll increased to 80 and more than 2,700 victims infected in China,” said Ava Trade analyst Naeem Aslam. He added: “The bottom line is that the virus has become deadly and it has caused a major panic in markets.”
The outbreak of the coronavirus has led China to lock down the epicentre of the disease, Wuhan — a city of 11 million people — while also imposing tight travel restrictions on a number of other cities including Beijing.