European stocks slide 2% as coronavirus spread
European stocks plunged further on Thursday as the rapid spread of coronavirus continues to dominate market sentiment.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 2% in early trade, with travel and leisure stocks plunging 3.7% to lead losses as all sectors and major bourses traded sharply in the red.
Standard Chartered posted a 46% rise in annual profit on Thursday but warned that the coronavirus will slow progress towards its 10% ROTE (return on tangible equity) target. The British lender’s shares fell 2.9% in early trade.
WPP shares plunged 12.9% to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 after the world’s largest advertising firm saw a slowdown in fourth-quarter sales and projected a flat 2020, while easyJet dropped 9.7% as airlines continue to be hammered by the coronavirus outbreak.