European markets are expected to open lower Thursday as investors react to President Donald Trump’s decision to impose restrictions on European travel to the U.S. to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
London’s FTSE is seen opening 330 points lower at 5,528, Germany’s DAX down 626 points at 9,779, France’s CAC down 279 points at 4,319 and Italy’s FTSE MIB index 1,110 points lower at 16,734, according to IG.
Trump said Wednesday that the U.S. will suspend all travel from Europe to the U.S. for 30 days, and that the new rules are going into effect on midnight Friday. The measures will affect 26 European countries that are part of the visa-free Schengen area. The U.K. and Ireland are exempted from the restrictions, as are American citizens who have undergone virus screening.
“These restrictions will be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground,” Trump said, blaming Europe for not taking adequate action to control the spread of the virus; Italy is the worst hit country outside China and a nationwide lockdown continues there.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic on Wednesday. There are at least 118,381 confirmed cases of the virus worldwide, according to the latest figures from the WHO. At least 4,292 people have died worldwide, the WHO said.
On Thursday, investors are awaiting the latest monetary policy decision from the European Central Bank which is expected to announce stimulus measures to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus.
Earnings come from Bilfinger and RWE on Thursday; on the data front, the euro zone releases year-on-year industrial production figures.