Coronavirus: Panic returns to shares markets

UK stocks have fallen sharply as investors continue to worry about the broader economic effects of coronavirus.

London’s FTSE 100 share index fell more than 2% while the more domestically-focused FTSE 250 dropped 2.7%.

The declines big falls in Asia earlier on Friday, with Japan’s Nikkei share index falling by 2.7%.

On Thursday, US share markets recorded steep falls, with all three main indexes dropping by more than 3%.

In London, shares in travel companies saw some of the steepest falls once again. Shares in cruise operator Carnival fell 4.2% to hit its lowest price since 2012.

Other big losers in the sector included EasyJet, Tui and British Airways owner IAG, which each fell more than 4%.

The drop wipes out previous gains for the week on the FTSE 100, which includes international firms such as Shell and Unilever as well as big British brands.

Only a handful of companies on the FTSE 100 saw gains, but they included two supermarkets: Tesco and Morrisons.

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