£100bn wiped off FTSE 100 amid virus fears

The UK’s blue chip index of big company shares has lost nearly £100 billion in the last two days amid fears about the spread of coronavirus.

The FTSE 100 Index ended Tuesday trading down 138.95 points or 1.9% at 7017.88, having fallen 3.3% on Monday.

More than £62 billion was wiped off the value of shares in the index on Monday, and it lost another £35 billion on Tuesday, bringing the total to £97 billion so far this week.

The Dax in Germany fell 1.8% and France’s Cac 40 was 2% lower, having both fallen 4% on Monday.

Spain’s Ibex was also more than 2.3% lower after it emerged a hotel in the Canary Islands was in lockdown after an Italian doctor tested positive for the virus.

In New York, US stocks fell to a near 12-week low and bond yields fell to record lows on concerns the coronavirus will harm global supply chains.

The S&P 500’s four-day rout reached 7.6%, with losses accelerating Tuesday after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans to prepare for a coronavirus outbreak at home. 

Analysts at Oxford Economics Ltd. said the virus could wipe more than $1 trillion from global domestic product.

“There is no question financial markets are coming round to the realisation that this particular crisis is likely to have a slightly longer shelf life than many thought was the case a couple of weeks ago …” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.

“There appears little prospect that financial markets look likely to settle down in the short term, which means investors will have to get used to an extended period of uncertainty and volatility.”