In London, the FTSE fell nearly 450 points to 6,015, a nearly 7 percent drop, while Euronext Paris dropped nearly 70 points to 925.04, a roughly 7 drop. In Tokyo, the Nikkei dropped more than 1,000 points to 19,698.76, a roughly 5 percent drop.
In a dramatic move, crude oil fell nearly 23 percent to $31.91 a barrel as a price war broke out.
Among the hardest hit in the European markets were, Moncler down 9.8 percent to 30.42 euros; Kering, 7.2 percent to 448.65 euros; LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, 7.1 percent to 334.95 euros; Salvatore Ferragamo Italia, 6.5 percent to 11.86 euros; Burberry Group, 6.2 percent to 14.99 pounds; Brunello Cucinelli, 6.2 percent to 27.54 euros; Tod’s, 5.7 percent to 26.46 euros, and Hermès International, 4.8 percent to 603.60 euros.
The U.S. markets were poised to open sharply lower, continuing their COVID-19-driven slide. The illness presents with mild symptoms in most cases, but it can be more serious for elderly victims and those with other health issues. Still, it has wreaked havoc on the economy already and spooked consumers.
Federal and local governments around the world have moved to issue declarations to target the illness, limit travel and impose lockdowns as needed, as event organizers began to cancel or delay a series of major events and fashion shows amid fears the outbreak could spread much faster.