European stocks plunged — and futures on Wall Street fell — as the world became a little less global with the U.S. cutting off travel from Europe hunkering down to combat the coronavirus.
President Trump told the nation in an address late Wednesday: “I have decided to take several strong but necessary actions to protect the health and wellbeing of all Americans. To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight. These restrictions will be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground.”
This excludes the U.K.
Western governments have become increasingly aggressive in combating the virus, with Italy virtually shutting down as it contends with its outbreak.
European stocks, which were already set up for a bad day after steep declines on Wall Street, dropped sharply.
The DAX in Frankfurt fell 6 percent to 9,815.35, while the CAC 40 in Paris dropped 5.9 percent to 4,336.41 and the FTSE 100 in London fell 5.5 percent to 5,556.52.
Among the decliners were Tod’s, down 6.2 percent to 23.40 euros; Kering, 5.9 percent to 412.65 euros; Burberry Group, 5.5 percent to 13.67 pounds; LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, 5.1 percent to 313.30 euros, and Moncler, 5 percent to 27.89 euros.
And that selling is set to whip back around the globe to the U.S., with futures indicating the Dow Jones Industrial Average will open down 1,175 points or 5 percent at 22,400.
Earlier in the COVID-19 outbreak, Trump shut down the U.S. border to travel from China, a step that some have said helped slow the disease.
Trump also signed into law an $8.3 billion emergency funding bill and has taken steps to support small businesses.
“This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history,” said Trump, although illnesses are not usually ascribed nationalities and COVID-19 is widely perceived as a global problem.
The World Health Organization described COVID-19 as a global pandemic on Wednesday.
Although the illness causes mild symptoms in most cases, it can be deadly to the elderly or those with compromised immune systems. Globally, 126,672 cases have been identified. While 68,305 of those people have recovered so far, 4,641 have died.