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Monday,23 March 2020 at 08:31

UK and European markets opened sharply lower as the coronavirus outbreak continues to take its toll on the international community and financial markets. 


Stocks in Asia Pacific saw sharp drops as fears over the economic impact of the global coronavirus outbreak continue to weigh heavily on investor sentiment. 

The U.S. dollar rose against sterling toward its strongest since at least 1985. 

Oil prices fell as governments escalated lockdowns to curb the spread of the global coronavirus outbreak that has slashed the demand outlook for oil and threatened a global economic contraction. 

Gold prices fell as investors stockpiled cash. 

In corporate news, Royal Dutch Shell said it was cutting capital expenditure, underlying operating costs and postponing the next phase of its share buyback to conserve cash in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Primark's decision to close all its stores will cost £650m a month in lost sales, parent company Associated British Foods said. ABF said it was cutting costs at Primark and that these measures together with government support should allow it to recover about half of operating costs. 

Transport operator Stagecoach issued a profit warning, saying that it was unlikely to pay any further dividends as the coronavirus pandemic hit passenger numbers.

Markets
08:24 GMT
FTSE 100 4,947 (-4.69%)
FTSE 250 12,788 (-5.92%)
DAX 8,533 (-4.43%)
the close
Dow Jones 19,173 (-4.55%)
S&P 500 2,304 (-4.34%)
NASDAQ 6,879 (-3.79%)
Fixed Income
UK 10-YR YIELD 0.52
Exchange Rates
GBP/USD 1.162
GBP/EUR 1.084
Commodities
Gold $1,489 (-0.52%)
Brent $25.65 (-6.51%)
This report has been prepared for private circulation. The inclusion of securities within this report does not necessarily imply their suitability for individual portfolios or situations in respect of which further advice should be sought. Information contained in this report has been compiled from sources believed to be reliable but is not warranted to be accurate or complete.
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