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FTSE 100 posts worst week since 2008 financial crisis amid coronavirus concern

By August Graham, PA City Reporter

The UK’s leading index of companies has seen its sharpest weekly fall since the middle of the financial crisis as markets lost 3.2% on Friday.

The bloodbath that has gripped markets for days continued, wiping more than £200 billion off shares on the FTSE 100 this week, as traders panicked over the spread of coronavirus.

It includes a major drop on Friday, with the index losing 215.79 points to 6,580.61 as the blue chip index posted its worst week since October 2008, the depths of the financial crisis.

In terms of points lost, it is also the FTSE 100’s second worst week since the index was founded in 1984.

It means the index reached its lowest point since just after the June 2016 EU referendum.

“Seemingly determined to outdo themselves, the markets unleashed another round of scary losses on Friday afternoon, the US open only serving to intensify the bloodbath,” said Connor Campbell, an analyst at Spreadex.

He added: “What on earth happens next? The weekend may provide time for heads to cool and allow investors to assess whether or not they want to re-enter the market at these new lows – after all, from a certain perspective the market is now far more approachable than when it was racing to all-time highs just last week.”

(PA Graphics)

The worst losers in London were the airlines, with British Airways owner IAG and travel group Tui seeing a more than 8% drop in share price.

Neil Wilson, chief analyst at Markets.com, said savvy investors might be able to pick up good deals after this week.

“The selling has been indiscriminate and this signals broad panic, bonds driving equity markets and almost certainly plenty of companies that are down way more than they should be,” he said.

Japanese authorities confirmed on Friday that a British man from the Diamond Princess cruise ship has died from coronavirus.

He is the first Briton to die from the disease. Nineteen have been diagnosed in the UK.