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Global markets crash as US bans European flights over CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Global markets crash as US bans European flights over CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on the world's financial markets after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a pandemic, and the US banned all European flights.

European stocks opened sharply lower on Thursday with the London FTSE down over nine percent. Jet engine maker Rolls-Royce led the losses, as the company's shares were down 13 percent, and airline stocks were also hit hard.

German and French shares were also down, with both DAX and CAC 40 dropping around ten percent. Stocks in Italy, the worst-affected country by coronavirus outside of China, were down more than 11 percent. Russia’s main index on the Moscow Exchange closed six percent lower.

The losses on Asian markets were led by Australia, with its key All Ordinaries index closing down 7.23 percent. It was followed by India's Mumbai Sensex, which is down over seven percent, and Japan's Nikkei 225, which lost 4.4 percent.

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange had fallen 3.6 percent by the end of the trading day, while the Shanghai Composite was down 1.52 percent.

US stock trading was halted on Thursday morning after markets in New York dropped as much as nine percent right at the opening bell, triggering a mandatory pause. The heavy losses continued as trading resumed.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost around 2,000 points or more than nine percent in the first minutes of trading. The S&P 500 fell almost 200 points, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 550 points, each dropping over eight percent, and triggering a 15-minute stoppage in trading at the New York Stock Exchange.

Also on rt.com Trump suspends ALL travel from Europe for 30 days starting Friday as he addresses nation on coronavirus

“Coupled with the World Health Organization’s declaration that the Covid-19 outbreak is a pandemic, the European travel ban has created a perfect storm for markets,” Ayush Ansal, chief investment officer at Crimson Black Capital, told The Guardian newspaper.

The sharp sell-offs came after US President Donald Trump ordered the suspension of all travel from Europe to the United States for 30 days. The restrictions came shortly after the World Health Organization announced that the Covid-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

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