Markets across the EU began trading this morning down as countries begin to prepare for a second wave of the virus. The FTSE 100 began 115 points down while the DAX in Germany saw the largest drop of 241 at the start of trading. Overnight markets in Asia also saw a fall-off in prices with both the Nikkei and Hang Seng indexes closing 0.07 and 0.5 percent down respectively on the day. China’s Shanghai Composite was the only market to finish up at the end of trading.
Overnight in New York, the S&P 500 closed 0.4 per cent higher while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.7 per cent to a fresh record high.
Manufacturing gauges for France, Germany and the UK rose more than economists had expected.
Futures tipped the US stock benchmark to fall 0.3 percent when trading begins on Wall Street later in the day.
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Stock markets across Europe plummeted this morning amid fears of a second wave of coronavirus
7pm update: John Lewis appoints new department store chief
The John Lewis Partnership has appointed Pippa Wicks as executive director of John Lewis.
Ms Wicks, who is currently deputy chief executive of the Co-op Group, will be tasked with improving profitability at the department store business amid an uncertain economic backdrop.
John Lewis has now reopened most of its department stores after they were forced to close their doors to customers in March due to the coronavirus lockdown.
6.15pm update: Markets nervous over second wave fears and US-EU trade talks
Warnings from the US over coronavirus and its future trading relations with Europe were enough to scare investors and send markets tumbling on Wednesday.
The FTSE 100 closed down 196.43 points, or 3.1 percent, at 6123.69.
The French Cac closed down 2.9 percent and the German Dax down 3.3 percent.
David Madden, financial analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “Tuesday’s update from Dr Anthony Fauci, a health adviser to the US government, spooked traders as he described the increase in Covid-19 cases in some US states as ‘disturbing’.
“The statement comes as certain US states, such as California, have seen an increase in the infection rate, which is a result of loosening lockdown restrictions.”
Fears were stoked higher by a Bloomberg report suggesting the US is lining up tariffs of 3.1 billion dollars (£2.5 billion) on goods in the UK, Spain, France and Germany ahead of trade talks with the EU in the summer.
Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex, said: “Given the two major issues troubling investors, any kind of rebuttal from Washington regarding the US-Europe trade situation could be a lifesaver. Because, let’s be honest, any good news on the second wave front looks pretty impossible at the moment.”
5pm update: Naked Wines sales soar 81% during lockdown
Sales at Naked Wines increased by more than 80 percent in April and May as demand for online alcohol deliveries soared during the coronavirus lockdown.
The firm said an “unprecedented” jump in demand amid the lockdown meant it had to stop taking on new customers and temporarily halt orders in March.
It began taking on new customers again in early April and saw sales jump 81 percent in the first two months of its new financial year.
The group saw new customers surge 256 percent over April and May, with repeat customer sales up 50 percent.
3.45pm update: Worldwide economy to take £9.6trn hit – IMF
The UK’s economy is set to plunge by 10.2 percent in 2020 and global activity will take a hit of more than 12 trillion US dollars (£9.6 trillion) from the coronavirus pandemic by the end of 2021, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned.
In an update to its April forecasts, the IMF said it now expects the global economy to contract by 4.9 percent in 2020 compared with the 3 percent it predicted two months ago.
It cautioned over a “catastrophic hit to the global labour market” and said it will likely take two years for worldwide GDP to return to pre-Covid-19 levels.
The UK’s economy is set to plunge by 10.2 percent in 2020 and global activity will take a hit of more than 12 trillion US dollars (£9.6 trillion) from the coronavirus pandemic by the end of 2021, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned
2.55pm update: French stock market continues drop
The French CAC 40 index is currently trading at 4,950, 77 points down.
1.53pm update: Dax continue drop
The German stock exchange has continued to plummet in trading today.
At the time of writing, the Dax stood at 232 points, 1.86 percent down.
1.08pm update: FTSE 100 levels out
The UK stock exchange has levelled out after plummeting this morning as is currently trading at 6,187, 132 points down on the day.
11.41am update: Hopes rising for Tata Steel bailout
Tata Steel is set to secure a £500million bailout from the Government.
According to the Financial Times, the deal could safeguard 8,000 staff in the UK.
10.55am update: FTSE 100 continues drop
The UK stock exchange has dropped 2.48 percent at the time of writing.
That drop takes the stock market to 6,161.
FTSE 100: German stock exchange continues fall
10.21am update: French economy grows
The French economy grew this month for the first time since February according to the latest figures.
According to the country’s Purchasing Manager’s Index, the manufacturing and service sectors jumped to 51.3 from 32.1 in May.
Any reading above 50 shows growth.
10.01am update: EU markets fall off
While the Dax has seen the biggest fall in trading today, the Swiss market Index also dropped 106 points at the time of writing.
The French stock market also registered a 79 point drop while the EU’s Euronext 100 fell 1.49 percent.
9.48am update: Nikkei 225 finishes down
Japan’s stock market finished the day 14.73 down, on 22,534 today.
9.21am update: Hang Seng index trades down
The Hong Kong stock exchange has finished trading 125.76 down on the day at 24,781.
FTSE 100: Pound sterling begins trading
9.01am update: Falkland Islands emerges as Brexit battleground
Securing market access for the Falkland Island squid has emerged as a key negotiating goal with Brussels.
According to the Financial Times, British diplomats have looked to preserve tariff-free trade in the region.
Squid coming from the region accounts to half of the calamari eaten in southern Europe.
8.50am update: FTSE 100 plummets
The FTSE 100 has begun trading 94.96 points down at 6,227 at the time of the writing.
8.20am update: Pound is becoming emerging market currency
The pound sterling is becoming an emerging-market currency analysts at Bank of America (BoA) have stated.
Due to the huge swings in the currency over the last few years, the pound may now be seen as a better match with the Mexican peso rather than the US dollar.
Kamal Sharma from the BoA stated the currency has now become “neurotic at best, unfathomable at worst”.
7.15am update: Record number of US companies seek loan adjustments
Last month 43 US issuers of leverage loans asked lenders for relief on their conditions due to rising debts from the coronavirus pandemic.
That surpassed the March 2009 high of 25 according to the unit of rating agency S&P Global.
7.09am update: Nikkei 225 remains up
Japan’s stock exchange remains one point up at 22,550 at the time of writing this morning.
5.58am update: Asian shares crept to a four-month high on Wednesday as investors remained stubbornly upbeat
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.39 percent to reach its highest since early March, though turnover was light.
Japan’s Nikkei firmed 0.1% and Chinese blue chips 0.3 percent. Caution was still evident elsewhere with E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 off 0.1 percent and EUROSTOXX 50 futures easing 0.7 percent.
On Wall Street, the Dow had ended Tuesday 0.5 percent higher, while the S&P 500 gained 0.43% and the Nasdaq 0.74 percent.
Additional reporting by Bill McLoughlin and Rachel Russell.