European stocks drop as coronavirus anxiety overshadow record stimulus deal

European shares dropped on Thursday after gaining for two straight sessions, as coronavirus spread rapidly across the globe and fears of a deep global recession overshadowed optimism from a historic $2 trillion U.S. fiscal stimulus deal.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 2 percent at 0803 GMT, with German shares .GDAXI down 1.8 2 percent as a survey showed consumer morale in Europe’s biggest economy fell sharply to its lowest level since 2009.

Italian .FTMIB and Spanish .IBEX stock markets fell between 2.2% and 2.5% as the number of fatalities from COVID-19 in Italy topped 7,500, while those in Spain rose beyond 3,400 and exceeded the total death toll in China.

British electricals retailer Dixons Carphone tumbled 2% after warning it would not meet its forecast for 2019-20 profit and debt as the virus outbreak forced the closure of its stores in the UK, Ireland and Greece.