US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — European stocks fell on Wednesday in their first trading session in the new season, as negative economic data from Asia added to the existing damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic and fueled fears of a major global recession.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 2.4 percent by 0705 GMT, after ending its worst quarterly performance in 18 years on Tuesday, as public isolation measures to contain the outbreak contained corporate activity, raising concerns about companies defaulting on debt and large layoffs.
Data on Wednesday showed factory activity across Asia shrinking in March as the outbreak paralyzed supply chains, with a sharp drop in exports from Japan and South Korea, two big centers of activity, overshadowing a modest improvement in China.
The FTSE 100 index fell 2.5 percent, while the financial companies sector fell 7 percent if British banks joined their European counterparts to suspend dividends to support liquidity.
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