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FTSE slides past Brexit lows as airlines sink

Kamis, 12 Maret 2020 / 17:29 WIB
FTSE slides past Brexit lows as airlines sink
ILUSTRASI. People walk past the entrance of the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain. Aug 23, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

Sumber: Reuters | Editor: Wahyu T.Rahmawati

KONTAN.CO.ID - LONDON. London's stock market fell past 2016 Brexit referendum lows on Thursday as a shock U.S. ban on European travellers sent shares in already hard-pressed British Airways and other airlines down by almost another 10%.

The bluechip FTSE 100, at one point, slid past 2016 lows to touch levels not seen since the height of the European debt crisis in 2012.

The index was last down 5.8% at 5535.54 points, with all the stocks trading in the red.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday suspended travel from Europe to the United States for 30 days to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Although the United Kingdom was spared from the travel restrictions, fears were widespread over its impact on the travel sector.

Shares of British Airways, EasyJet and WIZZ Air, which have already had to axe flights to and from Italy, fell between 6% and 10%.

Symbolic of the extent of economic damage from the outbreak, cinema operator Cineworld shed more than 30% as it said that in the worst-case scenario, the outbreak could cast doubt over it ability "to continue as a going concern."

Read Also: China automakers seek government relief after Feb sales dive 79% on coronavirus

The FTSE index has shed about 28% since its January peak, as the heavy blow from the outbreak shook investor confidence despite the Bank of England's emergency move to cut interest rates by 50 basis points and the UK government's 30 billion-pound ($39 billion) stimulus plan.

"Each time that you've seen stimulus announced, any rebound has been very short-lived," said Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG. "That's because you can't cure someone of a virus and the need to quarantine by giving them cheaper interest rates, or quantitive easing."

The World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a pandemic on Wednesday, followed by Trump's travel bank that sparked an end to the longest bull run in U.S. stock market history, sinking the Dow Jones Industrial Average index into bear market territory.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will chair an emergency meeting on Thursday at which he is expected to approve moving to the "delay phase" of the coronavirus response.

Read Also: Stocks tumble as coronavirus cases rise rapidly outside China

Oil majors BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc slipped between 3% and 5%, as oil prices took another blow from the dramatic moves by Trump.

Among other stocks, specialist pension provider Just Group slipped 5.2% after posting lower annual profit hurt by tough operating environment.

Shopping mall operator Intu Properties slid 15.5% as it flagged doubts over its continuity and posted wider annual loss hurt by decline in real estate valuations against a tough retail backdrop.